Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Reading the Right Book at the Wrong Time


Did you know you can read the right thing at the wrong time?

I didn't until recently.

The thought never occurred to me to pray about what to read, until this past August.

During my time away after my natural mother passed away, I was blessed to spend some time in the home of Kay Zello. Kay is the mother of my dear friend, Bonnie. She's a woman in ministry that I've always looked up to, since the time I was a young girl. I still remember the first time I heard her preach when she came to my home church in Baltimore. I was about twelve years old. I never forgot Kay or her message. I would hear her preach again and again at various events, and her life impacted mine.

I never imagined that one day, in what was one of my greatest times of need, I would be waking up in Kay's house. We would sit on her porch in pajamas, eating breakfast and sharing our thoughts.  One morning as she went to refill her coffee, I picked up the book that was beside her bible where she had been doing devotions. I thumbed through the pages of the book, having never heard of it before, and found her choice of reading to be interesting. So I asked her about it when she came back out on the porch.

"Deanna, "she said, "as you know, one only has so much time to read. And books are so important to our growth. I've always wanted to make sure I'm reading the right things at the right time and so I pray, 'Lord, lead me to the books you have for me in this time, in this season...' and He is always faithful to do that."

I made a note to start doing that, but in all honesty, haven't made it a habit since I came back home.

Then, the other night I got a reminder as to why I need to. I have a stack of books by my bed -- ones that are in the queue to get through. I chose the one on top and began to read. It's a Christian book, popular among many and the catalyst for breakthroughs in people's lives. Why am I not sharing the title? Because it's a great book. And with what I'm getting ready to say, I don't want to cast any disparaging remarks on the author or the book. Because it's somebody's book for this season. And I don't want anyone to shy away from the book and miss out on what God has for them.

I read half of the book and stayed up, all night. Uneasy. Unable to sleep. Restless.

Did it bring me under conviction? No.
Was it lacking in truth? No.
Was I resisting something God wanted to tell me? No.

But in the season I'm in right at this moment, it is not the book for me.

When I got up the next morning I wondered what was wrong with me spiritually that I just can't digest the book right now. I came to the conclusion nothing is wrong with the book or me, it's just that right now we don't go together. It was a bad choice for me at this time. ["At this time" being the operative words, here.].

I also had the thought that although the Bible is entirely truth and profitable for all things, perhaps it is wisdom to pray about where in the Bible God wants us to read at any given time. The whole Bible is anointed, but what does God have for ME today?  Depending on what I am going through, it may be more profitable to my walk to read Colossians today than Leviticus.

So today I pray, "God put into my hands, what you want me to read this day..."

Even when it comes to Your very word, direct my path.



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