Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bible Roulette

I love my scriptures.  I have learned so much studying them.  I have study aids and books that I use to help me understand the more abstract and difficult passages (I am about to start studying Isaiah, oh my!)

I wish I could say that my scripture study was consistent. There are times when I get lost in the study, and an hour will pass by before I know it.  Other times it is difficult for me to get into the spirit of things and I only read a verse or two.

What I love most about the scriptures is that I know that they are one of the ways that I can hear what God has to tell me.  I've heard it said, "If you want to talk to God, pray.  If you want to hear him, read the scriptures."

Sometimes I don't want to study the facts, the history and the stories.  Sometimes, when I am feeling down, lonely, or just need a boost, I don't want a history lesson- I just want to hear Him.

When I feel like that, like I did this morning, I do something that my mother taught me when I was young.  She called it "Bible Roulette." I know, the name sounds almost sacrilegious, but bear with me.  It is quite simply, really.  I say a sincere prayer, then, with closed eyes, I run my fingers over the edge of the pages until I feel impressed to stop.  I let my book fall open and read the first verse that catches my eye.

This morning I did that three times.  Here are the verses I came to in order:

Amos 5:4 " me and ye shall live."
Alma 30:44 "...The scriptures are laid before the, yea, and all things denote there is a God."
Deuteronomy 20:4 "For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you, against your enemies, to save you."

Three random verses that, when put together, say something great: Seek me and you'll make it.  Look for me in the scriptures.  I am the Lord, your God, and I am with you.  I will fight for you.  I will save you.  

I tried this once while visiting with a good friend of mine. She was making choices that were bringing her sadness.  She said she wasn't ready to stop her habits and come back to church.  I asked if we could read once scripture before I left.  I ran my thumb across the edge of the pages until she said stop.  I opened to this verse, "I beseech of you that you do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end."  She came back to church.

A few years ago, a matter was weighing heavily on my heart.  I knelt in prayer by my bed and wept. After what seem hours, I still had not received an answer to my plea.  At that point, my prayers had turned into a simple, Are you even there?   Through my tears I grabbed my Bible and let it fall open.  I looked down, and through my tears I read, "And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not."  At that moment, I no longer felt alone. The Spirit testified to me that God was there, and that my Savior also was aware of me. My tears of sorrow turned to tears of joy and relief.

Some might say that it is just coincidence.  They might think that since the scriptures are full of  wonderful verses, that the ones I land on are mere happenstance. Maybe.  But, I choose to believe otherwise.  I believe that God talks to us in ways that we can hear- when we are willing to listen.  Even through Bible roulette.

Try it, and see if you believe, too. 

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