I was dreading reading the book of Genesis again. I think I’ve read it straight through more times than I’ve read any other book in the Bible. And not just because I’ve taken several college courses on it. Not just because growing up, I read those same stories in my children’s Bible storybooks hundreds of times.
Mostly because Genesis is where you start when you set a goal to read through the entire Bible in a year. And I have set that goal sooooo many times. I can’t tell you how many Januarys I’ve spent reading Genesis. But only once have I ever gotten past April or May.
Then there were all the years when I got hopelessly behind (or never started) and decided to try something I thought might be a little more do-able — a shorter commitment. Maybe I couldn’t make it all the way through the year, but I bet I could stay focused long enough to read The Bible in 90 Days…
No waiting until next January. Any day can be Day One.
So back to Genesis again.
And again. And again.
But I’m being Fearless in 2014, and that means not being afraid of failure, no matter how probable it seems. So January 1st, I took a deep breath and dived in.
And a few days ago, I was reminded why I believe attempting to read through the Bible in a year is a worthy goal — why it can be such an incredibly meaningful experience, even if I never finish. And why I keep trying over and over.
Because it takes me to places in Scripture I don’t often go. And leads me to verses I never noticed before — or don’t remember noticing before. Sometimes it’s EXACTLY what I need to hear.
Here’s the verse that is speaking to me right now — from Genesis:
“But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him His faithful love.” Gen 39:21
While he was in prison — in the midst of his suffering — Joseph experienced God’s tender, faithful love for him.
That’s been my testimony, my story, as I’m sharing in radio interviews and at conferences and retreats right now — what I wrote in What Women Should Know About Facing Fear. That it was in the midst of the prison of my fear that I experienced God’s incredible, amazing, overwhelmingly merciful and faithful love for me.
And it’s my testimony today — in what sometimes feels like a prison of failure or discouragement or defeat. In a prison of indecision, confusion, uncertainty. And yes, fear. When I’m powerless to help or fix myself — let alone help or fix the people I love.
God’s love for me — and for them — is faithful.
He is with me, even now. Even here.