Keith Whitaker
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Lin Guenther shares about her journey of cultivating life with Jesus:

It was the extremely powerful metaphor Mark Peters used back in September that sat me upright. A serious runner in the middle of a fast-paced, long-haul run passes by her neighbour's house and calls out for a drink of water. She's SO thirsty! The neighbour quickly brings a chilled glass of refreshing water, but the runner only looks at it with disdain; "No, I don't want the glass, just the water. Give me water! I'm so thirsty!"

The neighbour is nonplussed. They offer the glass of water again. "NO! Just the water, don't bother about the glass. I said I was THIRSTY, quickly, quickly! Water!"

How many times do I do this exact thing to God? "Oh, I'm so thirsty! Give me what I need! I need you!" And He offers me His word. "No no. I need you NOW; forget the Bible, just give me what I need."

Granted, in His grace He often gives me much of what I need just because I call out for it, but how much more am I missing because I'm not willing to do the rational act of taking the glass to receive the water? I need to read His Word as the vessel through which I will receive what I am asking for.

And so, I committed to reading the Word 5 days a week for a set period of time each morning. Unlike previous years where I've committed to reading the whole Bible in a year, this time I decided that I would spend my allotted time reading only as much as spoke to me. Some mornings I read only a few verses, over and over, stopping here and there to reflect on their new meaning. Other mornings, chapters would fly by as I became engrossed in a story. Either way, because the focus was on receiving and discovering, rather than completing, I was enjoying my Bible more than I ever have.

A few months of this passed and then my days became distracted by sickness. A number of weeks into being laid up on the couch, it dawned on me that I hadn't been following my commitment well. Sickness rolled into Christmas and I remained haunted by the awareness that I was still not doing my readings consistently. When I did read, I loved the insight I gained and would talk about it over dinner with my husband, but more often than not I just lay nauseous on the couch, staring at the Bible across the room from me, with a growing sense of guilt.

But guilt isn't what it's about is it? I should not be motivated to do my daily readings because I know some pastor saw my commitment card back in the fall. No, my readings are about spending time with the Lord and receiving great things from Him. The less I do it, is my personal loss. And so I'm reminding myself that my commitment is not a burden or something to check off the to-do list, it is my opportunity to be filled day-to-day with what I'm asking for and what I need. It's to my benefit.

Just this morning I read Matthew 7: 24-27. I want my foundation to be solidly built on God's Word so that when the storms come (as they always do), my "house" stands strong.

I’m Lin Guenther, a long time participant in NSAC, teacher of sorts, and am passionate about community.