We deceive ourselves when we settle for appreciation instead of application. They are not the same thing.  This reminds me of my days in Bible college, when I began to surround myself with words and quotes and verses that resonated with me.

I kept a list of them in the back of my Bible, on those blank pages tipped in gold.  These were the words that had made me say, “Hmmm.  Wow.”  Or  “Mmmm.  yes.”

I seem to ‘hmm’ and ‘mmm’ a lot when I’m listening intently, waiting for a nugget.

So I wrote these down.  And I think I believed, in my 18-year-old spirit, in my knee-length skirt and my white collared shirt, that writing them down was enough.  That writing was permeating.

It can be.  “Deep calls to deep,” the psalmist says.  Sometimes the hearing alone can resonate.

But the blessing is in the doing.  It’s when the inscription meets my actions, when my thoughts match the words.  This is when there is blessing and power in the words: when I do them.

When I remember them, when I lean on the power in them,Firewood at the ski lodge

when I repeat them to myself in the darkest hour of the night,

when I speak these words over my children,

though they know not yet what they mean,

the words fill the space around them and the word of God does not return void.

It is not enough to appreciate the words.  If all I can do is appreciate them, then I’m missing their power, their blessing, their strength in my life.

The joy of the Lord is my strength.

O Lord, my fortress and my loving God, I wait for you.

I will find you when I search for you with all my heart.

You are the strength of my heart.

I can be strong and courageous,

for the Lord – My God – is with me wherever I go.

 

It’s more than ‘mmm’ or ‘hmm,’ as I write this in the blank pages of my Bible.

This, I am learning, is life.

* * *

“It’s not until the hearing turns into doing that believing leads to blessing.”

 ~ Beth Moore

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