The other day I was talking with a friend about my current reading habits. Since I'm alone so much I am reading up a storm. During May alone I read 5 books and listened to another. (I listen to books in the car going to and from work.) I know that's how many I read because I've started keep a list in Excel to keep track of what I read so I don't forget and begin rereading it. My friend shared with me that she has certain books she rereads on a regular basis because every time she does she is at a different point in her life and she gets a different message from the book.
That got me to thinking.....I do that with the Bible. Since I began reading the Bible, which was probably as soon as I began reading since I went to a parochial school and had Bible Study classes from grade 1 on, I have read through it many times. I am amazed how each time I read it, whether as part of my daily devotions, a planned out "read through the Bible in a year" programs, or a study of a certain theme or book of the Bible something new that I swear I never read before pops out.
I guess it is like my friend said; when ever I pick up and read the Bible I am at a different point in my life than I was the last time I did. Even on a daily basis I am in a different frame of mind or something new has happened or I am dealing with a new issue than a moment before. This happened this morning during my Bible reading.
This year I am following 2010 Bible Reading Guide put out by the Maryland Bible Society. Their pamphlet, which I found at our church, caught my attention because their theme for the year is Embodying Hope and I felt I certainly needed a good dose of hope this year. Currently the readings are from Hebrews today's Hebrews 4:14-5:10. For fun this year I am reading from Eugene Peterson's, The Message, though I keep my trusty NRSV close at hand.
Hebrews 5:8 was one of those verses that jumped out at me. It says "Though he [Jesus] was God's son he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do." ~~The Message. That stopped me in my tracks. Jesus had to learn trusting-obedience just like I do and he learned it through suffering and the need to rely on God to be by his side and get him through the suffering! I couldn't believe what I was reading. Surely this was Eugene Peterson's interpretation, but no, the NRSV says "Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered;..." I have been involved in numerous discussions and debates as to why it was so important that God came to earth in the form of a human baby and grew into a human man. For me this verse gives part of the answer to that question.
I have a hard time relating to God. God is God.....He is perfect. He can do all things. HE knows all things. He is above all things, or is he? When he came to earth in human form he allowed that part of him to be part of all things. He allowed himself to experience and feel all the things we humans do. He struggled with many of the same issues we humans do. According to Hebrews 5:8 he learned and he grew and reading on to verse 9 he being also divine went on to becoming perfect and therefore becoming our source of salvation. He did that partially by dealing with his struggles, taking them to his Father God and learning to trust and be obedient.
Now I know I can not become perfect, at least not in this world, I am not both human and divine, but I to can follow Jesus lead and out of my struggles, and currently there seem to be many in my life, learn to trust and be obedient to God. This is my lesson for the day.