Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Puzzle It Out!


Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

I am, most definitely, a book lover!  This long period of isolation has afforded me more time than ever for reading; in fact, my list of completed books for 2020 is almost as long as my entire list was in 2019.  And this is only June!

But as much as I enjoy reading, I can't do it 24/7.  I need a distraction of a different sort.  So, early in the quarantine, I order the Jumble Anniversary pictured above.  Tackling the word puzzles has been both fun and frustrating.

Some words, I'll unscramble right off the bat.  Others, not so quickly.  Sometimes, I'll get the answer to the puzzle even when I can't successfully decode the words in which the answer letters are couched.

I try not to peek at the key in the back of the book when a word eludes me.  Instead, I go back to it the next day, and possibly, even the next, until something clicks in my brain, and voila!  Problem solved!  And it makes me wonder why figuring out that particular word was a struggle in the first place.

The same type of circumstances can arise when we are reading our Bibles.  Perhaps, we don't see in the verses the message God is trying to give us.  We scratch our heads in bewilderment, or we simply can't relate meaningfully to what is being said.

Miraculously, though, the next time we encounter that same passage, it speaks volumes to us.  How did we miss the now obvious lesson before, we wonder?

God's word is alive and active, ever ready to speak to our hearts and minds.  But whether or not we allow it to do so depends on us.  We may be in a place of uncertainty and doubt.  We might have recently experienced a life-changing crisis.  Or maybe, we are momentarily distracted and unfocused, something we should never be in the presence of God's message.

My advice to you?  Check the state of your heart and thoughts before you sit down to read your Bible.  Pray that the Lord would open your eyes to His truth and wisdom.  Wait expectantly for God's Word to penetrate your soul and spirit.

Because assuredly, He will help you puzzle it out!

Amen!

26 comments:

  1. Great wisdom once again, Martha. It's true; often I read a passage in the Bible and it is as if a light has suddenly switched on. There's new meaning there that I had never seen before. I'd probably read the same thing many times before yet never "saw" what it meant. Perhaps I was not ready for it!

    I was advised once that when there's a problem on my mind I should sleep on it. Not a good idea that day when I wondered whether the pizza tasted funny. My wife was livid at the mess all the food made in the bed!!!

    Thanx for yet another great post, Martha.

    God bless.

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    1. Lol, Victor! That story about the pizza made me chuckle today. And yes, it is like time that a light bulb goes off in our heads and we suddenly "see" something in scripture that has been there all along.
      So glad you liked today's post!
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Great advice! I want to begin doing this in the early morning hours between sleep and full consciousness. Once upon a time I really enjoyed playing word puzzles and crosswords. Not sure what happened, but suspect it was about the time I discovered social media. *sigh*

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    1. The word puzzles definitely work a part of our brain that's otherwise "sleeping," Myra. My mother has done Jumbles for years (yes, she still gets a paper!), and sometimes when I'm visiting, she'll ask for some help with a word. That's what gave me the idea to try my own.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. I am a terrible puzzle worker and freely admit that I don't always see what God is saying to us in the scriptures. My study Bible has helped me a lot to decipher meanings that sometimes allude me. Great post, Martha Jane!

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    1. Study Bibles are helpful to me, too, Terri. For my birthday, Danny ordered The Jesus Bible for me, and I highly recommend it as it is filled with helpful, understandable commentary. Plus, it's the NIV version, so that makes it truly easy to read.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. I love word puzzles too. I also love reading my bible and finding a message I had not realized before. It amazes me that we can read God’ words over and over and still find a new message. Wonderful words today, Martha. Thank you

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    1. Isn't it amazing, Nells, that God's Word is "new every morning?" It never grows old nor tired, but always has fresh insights to share with us when our hearts are prepared to receive them. Glad to know you like word puzzles, too!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Martha, Word puzzles are interesting--some are quite challenging and others are easier. (An aside: I seem to have a vague memory of doing Jumbles in elementary school.) When I want to do something a bit different, I go for word finds.

    God's Word is so amazing, so alive, so active...it's the only book we'll read with the Author present. And yes, we can always see new insights each time we read the Word.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. "The only book we'll read with the Author present." What a wonderful observation you've made here, Kim! When we read the works of beloved authors, we can only imagine the life experience they've had to produce those works, but with God, everything is laid out on the table, whether we understand it at the time or not. When we engage in daily reading, we certainly need to invite the Lord into our hearts that He might give us clarity and eternal meaning.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. I have started doing the Sudoku puzzle in the newspaper each day just to exercise my mind. When I am doing the Sudoku, there could be an earthquake and I wouldn't notice. I need to remember to have concentration like that during my conversations with God. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Sudoku is something I've never even been able to figure out; more power to you for enjoying this! Yes, if we could use the same concentration level when we are praying to the Lord.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Wonderful advice in both perspectives. I admire your tenacity in solving the puzzles. My brain just seems to get fuzzy too quickly over those things. I know I should do them to keep it sharp. But God's Word is the best place to keep my mind and heart sharp. Thank you for these thoughts today. Always good things here to learn!

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    1. God's Word is the perfect place to keep our hearts and minds sharp, Pamela. I'm loving my new The Jesus Bible that Danny got me for my birthday this year. The commentary is so enlightening and lends a depth of meaning to the verses I'm reading that day.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Wonderful analogy, Martha! I love puzzles, too. :)

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  9. What a wonderful explanation Ms. Martha. Perhaps that's why each time I read a verse in prayerful study, something new is revealed. I'm simply un-jumbling in my mind. I love that analogy. Thank you ma'am.

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    1. "I'm simply un-jumbling in my mind." Love that sentence, J. D.! And isn't it amazing that God always has something new to reveal to us each time we are sincerely in His Word. Glad you liked the analogy!
      Love and blessings!

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  10. One thing I do love about God's living word is how it speaks to my heart in surprises and new discoveries. Great post, Martha! happy weekend

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    1. Yes, Jean, that is one of the best things about the word of God - it is vibrant and alive each and every time we encounter it. Glad you liked the post, and happy weekend to you, too!
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Oh, Martha, I love this! I wish my mother were still alive, so I could introduce you two. As a young girl, it was mine and my older sister’s job to hang out the weekly laundry. Heaven forbid that we should hang a towel or pair of underwear out of sync. I have had the honor of taking down an entire line if I felt brave enough to try mixing things up. I simply cracked up laughing when I read this. It is my opinion that the automatic washer and dryer is a wonderful invention. No more clotheslines for this girl. I did the hanging of her laundry her way. I also try to live my life God’s way. Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. I'm so glad this brought back memories for you, Nells, even though they weren't all "just so." I had another friend on FB who said that hanging out laundry was her chore growing up, and she would never wish to do that again! And trying to live your life God's way? Well, that can't be beat!
      Love and blessings!

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