Lately I feel as though I’ve been going through a spiritually dry time. To help with this I decided to read something else daily to encourage me in my devotions. So I picked up Valley of Vision, which was given to us as a gift years ago by a former pastor. It is a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions written in the first person. Reading these prayers has been very encouraging and convicting. I really look forward to it every day.
One thought that sometimes swirls around my head before I try to squash it, is that I’ve already read the bible numerous times so I know what’s in it. There’s nothing to “look forward to” as new material. My parents even had me memorize long passages of it as a child. I know that this is wrongful thinking because God’s word is vast and “unsearchable” and He is infinite. A lifetime of studying the bible could not uncover even a fraction of its riches and insight. I know that. But sometimes it’s difficult to plod on during dry times and suppress those feelings of “I already know this stuff.” So this passage below struck a chord with me.
“I am often straying,
often knowingly opposing thy authority,
often abusing thy goodness;
Much of my guilt arises from my religious privileges,
my low estimation of them,
my failure to use them to my advantage,
But I am not careless of thy favor or regardless of thy glory;
Impress me deeply with a sense of thine omnipresence,
that thou art about my path, my ways, my lying down, my end.”
Someone wrote this hundreds of years ago and yet I can relate to him. One reason I have enjoyed this book is that it gives me a connection with the broader church--saints who have gone before me and I will never meet in this lifetime.