When it’s time for “when”

My sweet grandma spent a lifetime alone with scripture. Look at that worn Bible!

Check out this opening line: “When you get alone with your Bible….” Does anything here stand out? Because I was listening to a pastor on YouTube, and his statement sent me reeling. That one tiny adverb—the harmless word “when”—struck a little nerve. Because you see, Francis Chan didn’t say “if” you’re alone with your Bible. He said, matter of factly, “when.” (As in, “Of course you get alone with the Word. You’re a Jesus follower; you’re a ‘when’ person.”)

So Chan assumes we Christians are all reading scripture in solitude. (As in, “I’m heading to the beach with my blanket and my Bible. No interruptions, please.”)

It does make logical sense. After all, we hold the Bible as a sacred book. We proclaim its power to comfort, transform, convict, reveal. So we fight for time alone to ponder it, memorize it, study it. Right? I sure hope so.

Maybe, though, some of us aren’t quite “when” people. I can relate; I’ve been there. But what might happen if we all decided to get alone with our Bibles? To shut out the world and discover the words for ourselves? In my experience, we’d find that faith comes alive. (As in, “My eyes are suddenly opening; I sense purpose, passion!  I see joy in the simple. And I’m dazzled by His glory!”)

If you’re in for the “when,” may I offer a suggestion? Alone time with the Bible is free of outside influences. It’s just you and scripture. Sure, sermons, studies, and devotionals have their places–don’t give these up—but also make time for an intimate, faith-growing party of two. So get a Bible and head outside. Or stay inside. But allow God to speak to you, reading straight from the source. You’ll be amazed at the intimacy awaiting.

Where to start? Perhaps the Psalms or Philippians or John or Acts. How to spend your time? Feel free to go slowly; maybe “chew” on just a handful of verses.  Or journal a summary or a question. I sometimes read verses aloud or pray them back to God. Other times I just sit and meditate on the Creator behind the words. The point is, God’s Word is speaking. I’m listening. And the right time is “when.”


“The unfolding of Your Word gives light; it gives understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130).

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Peter 2:2).


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2 thoughts on “When it’s time for “when”

  1. Sandra Bedsole says:

    Enjoyed this while sitting on the back porch this morning. Our God has given you a gift and you use it for His glory. You will be blessed!

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