I’ve been an avid reader since I can remember. Every birthday and Christmas I received a book to add to my personal library. As I got older, my books became cash (assuming I would rather have money for clothes or makeup), but I would still only ever use the money on books.
I attended a college where I read even more than I did in high school; I didn’t think it possible. Anyone who has attended Eternity Bible College can relate to this. It was only over breaks that a (dedicated) EBC student had time to devour non-school books. Early on, I decided that once I graduated from college, I would fulfill this resolution:
Read 100 books in one calendar year.
I was determined to make 2013 ‘the year’, since I had no idea what 2014 would hold. This was a kind of foolish decision, having been enrolled in EBC full-time for 4 months of the year, but I decided to give it my best. I love a daunting challenge!
This week, I hit my 50 book milestone. Although impressive in and of itself, it does not bode well for finishing the other fifty in just 4 months. I use this website. It keeps track of your books, finds recommendations, and you can see what your friends are reading. Pretty fantastic.
Since I am half way done with my challenge, I decided I would share what I’ve gleaned from a book I’ve read, one that spoke specifically to my heart; Humility, by Andrew Murray:
“Let us ask whether we have learnt to regard a reproof, just or unjust; a reproach from friend or enemy; an injury, or trouble, or difficulty into which others bring us; as above all an opportunity of proving how Jesus is all to us, how our own pleasure or honour are nothing, and how humiliation is, in very truth, what we take pleasure in. It is indeed blessed, the deep happiness of Heaven, to be so free from self that whatever is said of us or done to us is lost and swallowed up in the thought that Jesus is all.”
2013 has been my my most difficult year by far.
I’ve shed more tears in the past 3 months than I think I have in all my life. The tragedies and bad news are merciless in tracking me down and finding me in this distant corner of the world. What I’ve learned through hardship is the importance of not losing sight of the hope which is in me. Buried temporarily, though the hope may be, in difficult circumstances, in grief, in brokenness — I know it will pass…eventually. Although the fog closes in around me and I so frequently feel as though I’m drowning, God gives me His strength even then.
The chore of waking up in the morning is so much easier having bathed myself in the truth that Jesus is all. Isn’t it nice to know that you don’t have to figure things out by yourself? This reality does not dissipate the grief; but it does remind us we are capable of experiencing joy in spite of seemingly overwhelming circumstances.