I mentioned last week that I had been sick – we had a terrible stomach virus hit our family about 10 days ago, and it took a while for all of us to start feeling back to normal.
What I didn’t mention is that during that most of the days that I was laid up on the couch, I left my Bible to collect dust on my desk.
During a normal week, I have a pretty good routine of getting up early and reading my Bible before the rest of my family is awake. But when life gets interrupted, my daily Bible reading habit is often one of the first things that gets shoved to the side. It’s not something I’m proud of. How is it that I read two books while I was sick, but didn’t think to pick up my Bible?
It’s because I was out of my routine. Bible reading is a habit in my life, but it’s a habit that’s tied to a certain type of day–a day when I get up at 6 o’clock, and make a pot of coffee, and have time before I have to start making breakfast.
When I don’t do those other things, it’s a lot harder for me to get to my Bible reading. But I don’t want that to be the case. I to read my Bible and pray every day, even when that day looks a little different. So here are my best strategies for handling those days when life gets crazy–the things I should have done last week when I was sick.
Now, obviously, you can’t plan ahead for every interruption that comes your way–I had no idea I was going to spend a whole week sick. But there are some deviations from our normal routine that we can anticipate–an early morning, a late night, a vacation.
When you know something like that is coming, take an extra few minutes to think ahead to how you might incorporate the things that are important to you: prayer, reading your Bible, or maybe sharing devotional with your family–during those times. I have a copy of one of our favorite children’s Bibles in the Kindle app on my phone so that when we travel, we can still do Bible stories before bed with our kids, just like we do when we’re at home.
Take advantage of small moments
When you’re outside of your normal routine, you may have to think outside the box. If we’re on vacation, I may not have my normal morning quiet time, but there may be down time at a different point in the day I don’t normally get.
When I have a super busy week of work, I might not be home at my usual hours, but I might spend a higher than typical amount of time alone in the car, that I could use to pray. Be prepared to seize those moments when they present themselves.
Listen to the Bible
This is something my husband has been doing for years, and it’s a resource I’m just now beginning to utilize. The YouVersion app has audio recordings of several different versions of the Bible. If that doesn’t work for you, there are CD versions you can buy pretty affordably. This is the one we have.
I’m not a great audio learner, so sometimes I feel like I don’t get quite as much out of listening to the Bible as I do reading it, but it’s certainly better than doing nothing. I’ve also found that on mornings when I’m particularly tired, playing the audio while I follow along helps me stay awake and focused a little better.
Lean on God’s grace
In the midst of our busiest seasons, it’s more important than ever that we recognize our need for God’s grace. If we could achieve righteousness on our own through our diligence in the spiritual disciplines, we wouldn’t have needed Jesus. But thankfully, because of the cross, we are offered chance after chance to confess our weakness and begin again. And it’s through the grace that abounds to us in those moments that God’s love and glory are seen most clearly. As God told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (VERIFY. REFERENCE).