When Our Minds Wander
Jewish philosopher and theologian Martin Buber suggested that the name of God usually translated as "I am who I am" might better be translated as "I will be present (to you) as I will be present (to you.)" He was promising to be fully present. God is here for us. He is fully present when we open our Bibles. Just remembering that truth makes me want to be fully present also.
Without doubt, though, wandering thoughts will plague us. Missionary J. Hudson Taylor found that the hardest part of a missionary career was to have undistracted regular, prayerful Bible study. "Satan will always find you something to do," he would say, "when you ought to be occupied about that, if it is only arranging a window blind."
Even John Wesley admitted in his journal that he experienced dry times in his devotions. Probably all of us will admit that at times our meditations have been lifeless and empty, and that we have fallen asleep while reading. We seek to concentrate, to be open to the Word. We read a verse, then reread it, and suddenly discover our mind is on the phone call we need to make. We turn two pages in the Bible and realize we've read nothing.
One thing is certain. We will not be able to read the Bible with the same intensity every time. Some days even forcing ourselves to dutifully read will be a struggle. What is going on in our lives greatly affects our ability to stay with our reading. Yet whenever great distracters come-a move, vacation, illness, family trauma- we can persistently keep that time set apart for hearing God knowing that eventually we will once again hear His voice.
Thank You, Jesus, for valuing each effort we make to hear You speak through Your Word.