I recently got the chance to talk with Wales missionary Courtney McClean, and it was refreshing above all else. This girl loves God and His Word! But here’s the thing, even though her deep love for God’s word is evident, even though she’s a Bible college and Seminary graduate, even though she’s working in full time ministry overseas… she doesn’t always want to read her Bible. In fact, at the time of the interview, she confessed that she was in a dry season with God’s word.
Sometimes, coming before the scriptures feels fresh and new and easy. Other times? It feels laborious. It comes in seasons.
So I asked her, “Do you have any tips for someone in a season where they don’t feel like reading their Bible?”
Here’s what she said…
In the Psalms, you see the psalmist’s heart (usually David’s) rawly laid out before the Lord. He too knows what it’s like to walk in the desert place, to hurt deeply, to feel low. He also knows seasons of deep joy and rejoicing and intimacy with his creator. Often, when we’re dry, the Psalms encourage us by showing us that we’re not alone. They also give us someone else’s words to lean on for a little while.
Courtney quoted a professor and it stuck with me… “Psalms are man’s words to God, given back by God to man, for man to then give back to God”
What does that mean?
In the Psalms, the psalmist pours out his heart before God. He gives His words to God. And then, God gives those words back to man in the Bible. God tells us by their very inclusion in His word that they are worth us knowing, that they honor Him, that we can lean on them. And then, we can adopt those words given to us and give them back to God in prayer, when we maybe just don’t have words on our own.
In the Gospels, we come face to face with Jesus. We can’t hide - there’s no nuance. We see Him in the flesh, we read His words directly, we watch as He extends His hand, as He corrects, as He teaches, as He heals. Courtney shared that for her, confronting the person of Jesus in the gospels softens her heart all over again.
Seeing Jesus for who He is and remembering the ways in which all of Scripture points to Him should propel us to study His word in its entirety and refresh our hearts.
These two pointers alone encouraged my heart and I’m tucking them away for when I step into a dry season again (because I know I will), but Courtney had a whole lot more wisdom to share than I could fit in a blog post. Catch our whole conversation here by purchasing the Bible Study Summit all-access pass!