I love bedtime routines! My daughter is 12, and we still go through the ritual of lying in bed and reading before she drifts off to dreamland. I used to read “Five Surprises” and hide five different picture books under my pillow, but now it has developed into reading “Mother Daughter Devo” written by Dannah Gresh and Janet Mullin, and one chapter of a book in the Bible. Honestly, this is the most precious time of our day, and we both look forward to it, and it starts some cool conversations that this girl in middle school probably wouldn’t share without this special time.
One time the Bible Blast from our devotion was Luke 23. It was telling about the crucifixion and the conversation that Jesus had with the two criminals that were being killed with him. One was very negative and malicious, shouting cruel and evil words at Jesus. On the other side there was a man that was bragging Jesus up and demonstrating his love and wisdom towards him and his word.
Through this devotion the sweetest, most incredible conversation arose. My daughter spoke up and said, “Mom, that is just like us. We all have Jesus in us and then we have our good spirit, telling us to do good things, and we have the evil spirit telling us to do bad things. You know, just like you see in television shows with the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other.” I couldn’t believe my ears. She was actually starting to get the symbolism of the Bible.
Sometimes it is difficult for the human race to totally understand the stories from the Bible. Many find it farfetched and not realistic, not to mention contradictory. I see all that too, but you have to learn to read between the lines of the stories from the Divine Word. Some people are very fixed that if it is written in the Bible it is the absolute truth, they are very literal to the word. Don’t get me wrong, I think we all have to start there—kind of like learning our A-B-Cs before we read. We have to learn the alphabet, then the sounds of all the letters before we learn to read.
The same holds true with reading the Bible. We have to learn the literal stories first, then the symbolism and deeper meaning of his word will start to resonate in our own hearts and minds as we develop our relationship with him. Many time I read different devotions or stories, and I don’t have the same opinion as the person writing it. At first I’m defensive, because that is not what I felt when I read it, nor is it my beliefs, but then I have to remember that God talks to all of us differently. It takes all kinds to make his word complete, I truly believe in my heart that is what he wanted. We have our own personalities, and our own tastes and his word is fitting for everyone if they just let him tell them what he wants them to take from his word.
Hebrews 4:12 explains, “The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together. It judges the desires and thoughts of the heart.” We all have different thoughts and we all have a different heart, no two people are alike. That is why I believe we all have to read the Bible and take out of it what he speaks to you, because he will speak if you listen.
My daughter and I have a wonderful bedtime routine, and it was a very proud moment when she explained to me how this word of God came to life for her. That was God explaining to her what he wanted her to learn from Luke 23. Start your own daily routine, it can be in the morning, which I prefer, or if you are not a morning person like my daughter use your time before bed to read and meditate in his word, I can guarantee you that he will talk to you, just like he did my 12 year old cutie! He loves us all the same, and he is patiently waiting to show you the power of his double-edged sword!