Experiencing God’s Word
1. to devote time and attention to acquiring knowledge on (an academic subject), esp. by means of books
Studying has always been an issue for me. It is not for lack of desire, as many of my teachers assumed in my young schooling years, I have always felt this strong thirst for knowledge. But, attaining it through traditional methods, like sticking your nose in book like all the “smart” kids did, eluded me. I didn’t know it then, but I was and am dyslexic.
I had to read the same material at least 3 times before it would click. Even then it was a challenge if it wasn’t something I could connect with on a different level, something more than just the words jumping around on the page.
I think the Bible can be like that for the non-dyslexic person, too. There was this story of a man in prison who had read the Bible from cover to cover numerous times and never received its message. The word of God is powerful, but we have to let it have power in our lives, let it touch our hearts.
Studying God’s word needn’t be a daunting chore, like studying for an exam, in fact, it shouldn’t be. The goal of studying the Bible should be for it to transform us, to connect with us on a heart-level, not just for the sake of “passing the test” or checking it off our daily “to-do” list.
My challenges with reading led me to lean on my giftedness in creativity. I use my imagination to make the words connect to my heart. Focusing on the visual representation in a passage, either in your mind, or on a canvas, or even with an item from the dollar store, can have a life-long effect. A creative Bible study leader once gave everyone in our group a sailboat figurine to remind us to let Jesus be the wind in our sails. That simple dollar store find has stuck with me for years (and yes, it was a John Ortberg study!) There are many simple ways like this to get deeper into the text and start experiencing God’s word instead of just reading it.
What challenges do you face? What giftedness has God given you? Can you use them to study God’s word and make that deeper heart connection?
By Heidi “Wally” Walstrom
Children & Family Ministries