"Shopping" My Bible
I need a new coffee maker. The glass container from my French Press Pot coffee brewing system has shattered, and that’s a problem, because my husband and I both enjoy coffee in the morning. For now, we use the pour over method, putting an old tea strainer to good use. But this method only makes one cup of coffee at a time and some mornings, we are in a hurry. A new replacement glass container is in order, yet I’ve somehow avoided shopping for one for almost two years. Unlike seemingly everyone else, I don’t particularly enjoy shopping. But I really shouldn’t put off this purchase any longer. A new beaker would make our morning routines so much easier. So I turn where I always turn when I want to shop from the comfort of my own home: the internet.
I begin the shopping experience by searching directly for what I need on a large well-known shopping website. “French press replacement glass” I type into the search bar, and am immediately redirected to “French press replacement beaker.” The screen floods with possible solutions to my missing beaker problem. Fantastic! So many options! But which option is best? I begin to read descriptions and reviews. Hmmm...here’s a beaker for a great price. But the reviews aren’t great. What about this one? A bit more pricey, but it has good reviews. But it’s 34 ounces. Do I need the 34 ounce size? Or is it 12 ounce? 8 cup or 3 cup? Does it matter what brand I buy? What brand is the frame I still have? Does it say somewhere on the frame what size beaker I need? Hmm...here’s an entirely new french press system for not that much more money. Maybe I should just start completely anew with a new system? stainless steel is an interesting thought. It certainly wouldn’t break as easily. Or what about getting a cloth cover for the glass? Might be nice to insulate my coffee.
Scrolling down, I catch sight of a section of the website entitled “Customers who bought this item also bought.” On the list is a conical burr grinder. Oooooh, how nice would it be to own one of those! I’d better add it to my ongoing wish list. While I’m here, doing this shopping thing, maybe I should add some Christmas presents to my cart and get some of my Christmas shopping done. Woohoo! Sweaters are on sale. I needed to buy a sweater for someone anyway. Perfect. And here’s a great deal on that toy for my kid. Alright. Time to check out.
After I finalize the check out process and close my laptop, I realize that while a few things that I needed or wanted to purchase are now on their way to my front door, I didn’t solve my original problem. I still need a new coffee maker. But at least I’m now well-informed of my options. I have things to think about and measuring of my coffee making frame to do. Since I’m out of time to shop, I resolve to come back to my computer the next day and hone in once more on my search for a beaker replacement. I’m confidant that if I just keep searching, I’ll find what I’m looking for.
Sometimes, reading my Bible is a little bit like shopping. I know it needs to be done. I know that the information I find in the Bible will help me cope with problems I’m struggling with in my life. But it feels like a chore, so I avoid doing it. Sometimes for a long time. In the meantime, I limp along trying to make my own hacked solution work. When I finally buckle down and open my Bible, I am typically somewhat initially overwhelmed by the help and encouragement contained within it. Through the use of a concordance or Bible App search I am able to narrow down my problem and receive tailor-made advice and encouragement. But I’m not always ready to immediately receive and implement it. Sometimes I need to take several days or weeks reading or pondering a verse or chapter in my heart before I digest and understand it. Sometimes it takes even longer than that for me to put God’s Word into action. Sometimes I even need to compare one scripture to another before I’m able to get what I need out of the Bible.
Even if I don’t find the solution or encouragement I’m looking for when I initially open my Bible, however, it’s never a waste of time to open and read it. I almost always come away with something else that I didn’t even know I needed to read. I find encouragement to face a different problem in my life, or insight and renewal to address and pray over my struggles again tomorrow.
Unlike shopping, however, we never need to put the encouragement and salvation found within the Bible on a “wish list.” In fact, everything we discover within the pages of the Bible is immediately ours to own and cherish. It’s like searching the internet for something you need and discovering that the thing costs zero dollars with free shipping! I don’t know about you, but I’ve never gone window shopping downtown and had every shop-keeper immediately hand me the things I need plus everything I could ever desire from every window to keep forever and ever. God has given us eternal life in His Kingdom. For FREE! And not because we deserve it, either. What more could we ever want or ask for?
The treasures we find in God’s Word are much more deeply satisfying and far more long lasting than any temporal gifts we may buy online or at the nearest big box store. So what are you waiting for? Don’t put off “shopping” the Bible a moment longer. The sales never expire and the “product” is under an eternal warranty! ;)
Not sure where to start reading your Bible? Consider joining in on one of our Holy Hen House online Bible studies! To participate in our weekly discussion surrounding these studies, join our Facebook group by clicking on the button below and request to join!