Just after Thanksgiving, I came across the MomsToolbox website, where she (Amy) had just wrapped up a 90-day Bible reading challenge. I admit it; I was impressed. I’ve tried the 90-day reading challenge before and don’t remember making it past the first week. In fact, in any type of Bible reading plan I’ve started, I’ve never finished. On the website was a link to sign-up for the next session, scheduled to start Jan 3rd. I signed myself up, committing myself to being faithful in my task and completing it, no matter how many days it took me to get through.
At that point in time, I wasn’t in a really good place. I was coming out of a multi-year, multi-phase project that had just wrapped up a successful implementation of an EHR in 3 public hospitals. Months of preparations and planning led into months of extremely long workdays and go lives spent in command centers. I was tired and frustrated, out of sorts and very much out of my normal routines. I was missing church services, time with my husband and sons, time with my friends. I was even missing my quiet time and worship time with God.
I knew I wasn’t where I was supposed to be, where I wanted to be; where God wanted me to be. I felt myself slowly slipping off the precipice. I hadn’t quite lost my grasp, but I wasn’t quite ready to cry out for help.
Throughout December, Amy kept posting session updates, encouraging people to pray about it and if led by God, to sign up. It kept it fresh in my mind, not that I even needed those reminders. God reminded me of my commitment to read His Word, and I shared that with people as often as I could. Accountability helps, and I know for myself, it can sometimes be the make it or break it factor.
As January drew close, my reservation to get myself back on track became stronger than ever. January 2nd found me on my knees at the alter, repenting of my sins, crying out to God for His strength, and basking in His love and glory. January 3rd found me cracking open my Bible when I had longer moments of time to read, or following the reading plan on a mobile app for those shorter bursts – like waiting on the microwave to cook lunch or standing in a busy grocery line. I shared my progress and my findings with anyone that would listen, and probably more than a few that don’t really care. LOL I was doing good, staying caught up, until a week later when I got sick.
All of us got sick. Horribly sick, with bronchitis. It kicked me upside down and every which way sideways. I slept more than I was awake for several days, lacking the energy or desire to do anything but to get better.
By Friday, I was feeling a little more normal, except now I was 4 days behind schedule on my reading. I was determined to catch up, but it was such a daunting task. I managed to get through the last few chapters of Leviticus but by then it was the Saturday and I was still 4 days behind.
Today as I prepared to sit down and spend the rest of the evening reading, it just didn’t seem possible. Can I really manage to read all of Numbers and Deuteronomy in just a few hours and a day? YES, I CAN! I firmly believe the Bible is God’s One True Word, and He wouldn’t have gone through the hassle of getting men to write it all down if it wasn’t information He didn’t want us to have.
A few things from my reading so far that’s jumped out to me.
(Day 10) Numbers 1-2 lists Judah as being the largest of the 12 nations and one of the most important, since they were camped east of the Tabernacle and were first in the procession when traveling. This would probably also put them first in a battle. To me this is relevant as the Messiah would come from the line of Judah.
In Numbers 17, the Lord causes Aaron’s staff to sprout into almond blossoms and ripe almonds. I remember reading in Leviticus the Lampstands of the Tabernacle were covered in almond blossoms. There’s obviously something special about almonds but I don’t know what it is. (Yet.)
In Gen 9:24-27, Noah curses Ham’s son Canaan, saying his descendants would be servants to Shem’s. Here in Numbers 21:1-3 we see the curse start to play out as the Israelites (aka Shem’s descendants) first conquer Canaanite, before moving out into other areas settled by other descendants of Canaan. I’ve looked forward to this section of scripture, although I didn’t know exactly when I’d come across it, but that could be b/c Noah’s curse was the first “new” thing I’ve caught during my reading.