The unexpected can thwart our routines and even muddle our minds. How can we make our way back to God’s Word once we’ve found our way through the crisis?
Have you ever gone through a season of being in survival mode? I have. The most recent was just over a year ago, when our family faced a crisis that left us rushing around trying to keep everything at home in working order while still navigating grief and loss.
It was incredibly hard.
For a little while my walk with the Lord felt quiet because my mind was so full that when I sat down with my Bible, I couldn’t even focus on the words. So instead, I spent a lot of time praying.
There is nothing wrong with seasons like this, of course. The Lord is gracious and compassionate with His children. He meets us right where we’re at—and walks through trials right beside us. The key, though, is finding a way to move back into consuming God’s Word after the time of crisis or stress or survival has passed.
There is this gap that is created—where you are doing better and feeling stronger and hungry and thirsty for something of depth, but you’re struggling to create rhythms and habits that feed you properly.
There are so many ways to revive our quiet time with the Lord, but I want to tell you about two new devotionals that I believe can fill this gap in such an encouraging and gentle way.
Courage and Hope for Every Day
The first one is called Courage and Hope for Every Day by Carolyn Larsen. In this book, you’ll find 180 devotional readings that are all about courage and hope. If you’ve been through a hard season recently, I’m sure you know how vital these two things are for survival.
Sometimes we just need an infusion of encouragement to help us step out from a season of difficulties. Each day’s reading provides the reader with a Scripture verse to meditate on and a short devotional that touches on relevant and realistic topics.
The first half of the book focuses on courage. Some of the subjects explored are:
· Courage to Let Go
· Courage to Honor God
· Courage to Praise
The second half of the book looks more closely at hope with chapters like:
· Hope When All Seems Hopeless
· Hope for the End of Pain
· Hope for Contentment
If you’re in a season of exhaustion or anxiety—this book may be the perfect boost of encouragement you need to strengthen your heart and mind.
Thirsty: 12 Weeks of Drinking Deeply from God’s Word
The second book I want to tell you about is called Thirsty: 12 Weeks of Drinking Deeply from God’s Word by Hannah Hall.
This devotional was such an encouragement to me right now. Hannah Hall is an excellent writer and storyteller—and she’s offering a message that is so, so vital for the church.
In the introduction she shares some of her own story, of how she had been a Christian for years but still felt like the abundant life the Scriptures talk about was just out of reach. Like she was constantly striving and not quite attaining. Like she was missing out, and who wants to miss out on something good?
She learned that part of the problem was her “herky-jerky approaches” to her quiet time. Starting and stopping Bible reading plans. Flipping open Scripture to read but those moments turning out to be more like skimming or snoozing through or skipping around. All of it left her feeling like the abundance God promised, the fullness, the living water—was all too far away.
“I was thirsty,” she says. And she decided to do something about it. But, like many of us, she was busy and didn’t have hours to devote to in-depth studies. She longed for something deeper than a fluffy devotional, something that would quench her thirst, but she also needed something that felt doable for her life.
So she started on a journey toward learning to study Scripture slowly. Not racing toward a finish-line of consuming as much as possible as fast as possible—but instead, meditating. Pondering. Going deep.
From this heart, Thirsty was born.
And friends? It’s one of the best devotionals I’ve read in a long, long time. What Hannah Hall is bringing to the table is so good and so important and so needed.
Step into a Deeper Walk with Christ
Thirsty is set up in a 12-week schedule and each week has a single passage to study. Each day of the week, you look at and learn from the same passage of Scripture. Using this slow approach, you have time to read and meditate and ponder these verses. You’re given short daily readings and assignments are doable but deep.
You learn Hebrew words and relevant stories and thoughtful explanations of the verses at hand. Each day has questions that are pertinent to life and godliness. There is journaling space in the book to write your answers and the design of the book itself is very lovely and easy to navigate.
If you’re looking for a devotional that is engaging, that teaches you how to study God’s Word more fully, that will help you step into a deeper walk with Christ—I really think you’ll enjoy this one.
Like I shared at the beginning of this post, my family has been through such a long hard season recently and Thirsty was exactly what my heart needed to start digging into the God’s Word again in a new way.
If you’re looking to have your quiet time with the Lord revived after a hard season—I hope that you too will be able to pick up one of these books and find the encouragement your heart needs!