February 1 – March 31. Those dates did not begin as my Bible reading schedule but as I finished up Revelation Monday morning I thanked God for the tremendous blessing of my first journey of reading through the entire Bible in 60 days.
Only God knew the unbelievably perfect timing for this venture. Only He knew the trials and fire which would fill those two months. When I began I was a newlywed planning a life as a military wife. When I ended, I was in the midst of a divorce and trying to recover from trauma.
I could not have planned to begin reading Job just minutes before the heart-breaking phone call when I found out my marriage was ending; I did not realize at the beginning I would get to read through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John during the celebration of His Resurrection. God blessed me. His provision and love are abundant and beautiful to me!
Originally my goal was 90 days. A couple weeks ago I began playing with the idea of pushing myself to finish by March 31. My goal of reading through all the Gospels by Easter gave me the extra impetus needed to harness my so often-distracted mind and focus.
Have you ever read through Romans, or 1 & 2 Corinthians in one sitting? Paul’s arguments are masterfully built. Reading his letters as a whole instead of in chapter or verse bits makes that clear. The opportunity for a broad overview of Scripture combined with the speed which was set gave me some deeper understanding of portions of the Prophets as well as the almost continuous OT allusions in the New Testament.
Instead of only knowing that a given verse was a quote from the Old Testament because of a footnote, I found myself remembering which book, even which chapter the quotation came from. Isaiah 54. Genesis 21. Daniel 11. Ezekiel 28. I saw the allusions because I had read the Old Testament only a few days ago!
Today I finished Revelation 21 and closed my new-three-months-ago but now-very-worn Bible with a mixture of wistfulness and triumph. Now I am free to dive into some serious study that has been put on hold. That part makes me glad. But I so enjoyed this that I know I am going to be doing it again at least once a year. Perhaps after a few months off I will start again and see if I can do another read-through in 2008. Believe me, it is addicting!
I wonder if we do not often intimidate ourselves too much over the thought of reading “the whole Bible.” Speaking as a voracious reader, it is not that long. Shorter than a Hugo or Tolstoy novel. Much more valuable for our spirits and minds. We’ve been given a precious treasure in God’s Word–let’s remember that and revel in it with every opportunity we are given.