Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The bigger picture

Today's blog is written by Jill Harkness. She is a well educated, well travelled and well respected woman of God.  She is also my sister-in-law, which is possibly her greatest achievement.
I love doing jigsaws. Especially around Christmas time. I always get a new jigsaw for Christmas (this year, I got two!)
For so long - my approach to reading the bible was a bit like doing a jigsaw without seeing the picture. I would approach it - piece by piece - perhaps fitting a few bits together, but without looking at what it meant as a whole.
Reading the bible in 90 days has been an altogether different approach - which I feel has allowed me to see and appreciate the bigger picture.
In the Old Testament, we read about the Kings - most of whom were corrupt, and "did evil in the eyes of the Lord". In the end, the temple was destroyed, Jerusalem fell, and the people were taken captive and sent to Babylon.
In the midst of this apparent defeat - we see God at work. God continues to work through people like Esther and Daniel and eventually the temple is built, through the work of people like Nehemiah. The point is, none of these events were happening in isolation. God was aware of everything that was going on, and working in the lives of those who trusted in Him - to write history.  And (although we so often forget it) the same is true today.
Before I started this 90 day challenge - I had been working my way through the book of Psalms. Again, reading through the story of David has put some of the Psalms I had read in context. Each Psalm (in my Life Application Bible) is given a theme and some information about the author. Comments such as "written by David, possibly during the days of Absolom's rebellion" - began to make more sense, and take on more meaning - once I read through the life of David.
So, all in all, it has been an interesting exercise, intense at times, but definitely worthwhile.
Doing a jigsaw when the picture is available makes so much more sense - it is all about context, fitting things together and seeing how the individual pieces fit together to make up the whole.
What do I do with my jigsaws once I have finished? Well, I don't step back, admire my work and say I'm finished. For me, once I have finished, it is an opportunity to take it apart, and start again.
Jigsaws, like reading the Bible - something you can't do too many times!!


Some mid-week music now. This is Sanctus Real and a song about a husband and father's responsibility to his family.  Women, demand this from your men.  Men, demand this of yourselves.

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