In the middle of the 1970s, my Welsh-born father brought our family from England to Texas. After purchasing a modest home in the Spring Branch area, he created an English Rose Garden. Popular gardening wisdom warned him that this might be impossible, but he took the challenge in stride. Clad in his favorite bicentennial shorts, he set out to create the perfect place for delicate roses to thrive in the harsh Texas climate.
He built a raised flower bed with railroad ties to provide proper drainage. He filled it with premium soil. Before planting those rose bushes, he added a drip irrigation system. This form of steady watering was truly the best kept rose growing secret. Roses love moist soil. If you know Texas summers, you know the two kinds of weather: monsoon and drought. None of those gentle, soaking rains around here. It is all or nothing. My father’s efforts were rewarded with the most spectacular display of rose blooms that wrapped our entire front garden in a rainbow of colors.
Gardeners must provide all that is need for plants to thrive. Because God is a faithful tender of my soul, he provides the Bible to give practical guidance on soul care and to keep. The book of Psalms is one of my favorite places to find this kind of wisdom.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;9 the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
(Psalm 19:7-9 ESV)
We all need a drip irrigation system of daily exposure to God’s word. A once-weekly reading of the Bible at church might last for a day or two, but it is the daily infusion to revive us and keep us thriving.
Verses 7-9 of Psalm 19 identify three soul care essentials.
- law, commandments, precepts
- fear or proper reverence or respect
The Law – we have to know the law or the commandments to follow them. God is our designer, and he knows all about our design capacity. Can someone function well without sleep? No. Did you know that God actually directs us to rest in His word? Can someone lie or steal and suffer zero consequences? No. God’s guidance is always for our good, and we need daily reminders less we wander off course.
Testimonies—God directs his people to share with one another about what He is doing in each of our lives. (1 Chronicles 16:8) He knows we need the reminder, and sharing testimonies is a powerful way to encourage others.
Fear- God wants us to remember to show respect for Him and for all He has created. When we lose touch with this principle, suffering follows quickly.
How can we make daily Bible reading a part of our lives? How do we make that drip irrigation of Bible verses an essential part of each day?
First, figure out your best learning style. Are you a visual learner, an audio learner, or a tactile-kinesthetic learner (someone who learns best through movement or touch)?
Second, test-drive some different ways to take in scripture daily. Since I am an audio learner, I listen to a podcast that reads scripture daily, and it takes me through the whole Bible in one year. So it’s a daily 15-20 minute investment that really makes a difference for me.What could a visual learner do? First, find a daily scripture reading program that would give you daily doses of scripture that could be read in less than 15-20 minutes. What about tactile-kinesthetic learners? Try moving as you listen to scripture. I actually walk while listening, and this helps my focus.
How about you? How will you take in your daily dose of scripture?