She curls up next to me with a pile of picture books and half-whispers to herself:
“Take a deep breath, and read.”
Simple words, not intended as a command. Yet, from the lips of that babe, what my heart needed to hear was this call:
Take a breath, Mama. But don’t just breathe. Breathe deeply.
Slow down and dive into a luxurious tale with a toddler.
Enter into the wonder she experiences in narrative.
And then….leave some of those dishes in the sink and go read something that gets you out of your own head. Read something that challenges and inspires you.
Stop outputting for 5 minutes and recharge.
Fill the well!
Drink deeply of His Word.
You NEED it like you need air.
Why is it that my daughter wants the same story read to her again and again? She knows almost every line by heart.
Because, simply hearing the story once isn’t knowing it. And even “knowing” it by heart isn’t enough. She wants to experience it again and again. She wants to participate in the drama of the narrative, feel the anticipation climbing from page to page toward the end. There’s a kind of security in the repetition of it. A kind of strength in consistency that brings about calm and knowing. And, in the really good stories, the ending leaves her with both a sense of completion, yet wonder at what’s beyond those final pages.
Christian, isn’t this what we need when it comes to the Gospel?
To be drawn into that story again and again? To return to His Word and look into the redemptive work of God throughout the ages? To see it all pointing to Christ? To see the reality of our sin, but remember the sweetness of living by his grace?
Too often, I find myself clinging to fragments of His story, but living completely caught up in my own myopic, selfish version of it, which is mostly law-driven and utterly condemning. In doing so, I’m leaving out the best parts of the story! The GRACE parts!
We need to experience the Gospel grace stories again and again. We need to be like children, wide-eyed with wonder and compelled by that grace to return to the story. Our story. We need to set our minds on those life-giving truths and let them saturate and nourish our weary hearts. We can read our story and feel that sense of completion and wonder because through Christ it is finished, yet we wait for his return.
Oh Lord, slow us down to return to Your story again, and take a deep breath, and read….
….and breathe in, grace. And breathe out, grace.