I used to hear the expression “lose yourself in a good book”. Since I was an early and avid reader, it was an expression I loved. When I read fiction I often find myself sort of becoming one of the characters in the book. Perhaps that is why I never completely took to fantasy or mythology. I couldn’t find a way to become one of the characters. Oh, sure, I read them, but I couldn’t find a way to “become” one of the characters. Not the way I “become” Jo March, [Little Women], Betsy Ray [The Betsy-Tacy series], Laura Ingalls Wilder, [Little House series], Anne Shirley [Anne of Green Gables series], Scout [To Kill a Mockingbird], Jim [Grapes of Wrath], and the list goes on and on. It is not only true in fiction for me. It is true in His word, Scripture.
Of course, there is a thread of nobility, dreamer, goal orientation, sprightliness, and more that runs through all of those fictional characters. sometimes reading is so restorative and reassuring. As we go through our days, our struggles, and just our busy, busy tasks, our focus changes. Quite frankly, sometimes it has to. sometimes it takes all of our concentration just to do the tasks that must be done. But when I lose myself in reading, I find my heart, soul, spirit. I know I feel that way when I read Scripture. It guides me, inspires me, reminds me, reassures me, points me in the right direction. I can relate to various apostles and other people in the Bible. Can’t you?
27 years ago today, our infant daughter Erin was trying so hard to fight her way back after her 8th surgery. She was 10 months old and had now had a stroke after heart surgery. She was suffering so much, and so were we. Her grandpa had died on this day the year before. So we were already struggling with that. As we sat in that hospital and prayed and prayed, our hearts were surely breaking.
As I turned to Scripture, I came across Job 38:3 “Gird up now thy loins like a man; For I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me”.
That verse gave me strength and focus. It literally made me draw my grieving breath in, I sat up straighter and stronger, and felt His peace fill me. I knew that in the next few days more would be asked of me/us. I knew He was with me, leading me, calling me. We, as most parents, lost ourselves in our love for our daughter. Yet we found/redefined ourselves in our role as first-time parents.
We knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, in that gift of Scripture that He was walking our path with us. We knew that He would give us the emotional, spiritual, physical skills and strengths to continue. This verse confirmed it for me that day. “The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.” Habakkuk 3:19.
So, as I am trying to say, “losing yourself in what you love leads you to find yourself there”. When you throw yourself into His arms in prayer, He holds you close and you can hear Him lead you. You know, you just know, that you are not alone. Ever.