Surrounded by my dry garden at the end of a long season of trials and weariness, I am reminded to tend my own soul. We don’t get much summer rain where I live but this year the garden is drier than ever. I have drug out the hose most mornings but have brought in less than an arm load of veggies and haven’t made the first batch of salsa. It’s unlike me and unlike my salsa garden.
An array of trials over the last several months left me too weary to tend to the garden. I’ve neglected the necessary watering, weeding, fertilizing and all over care.
The metaphorical storms of the season left my soul panting for refreshment too.
Even as I faced unknown outcomes from health crises and relationship turmoil, I continued to engage with the Word of God. This anchored me. Steadied me. Gave me hope and maintained intimacy with the Lord so I could find courage, strength, and guidance in those days of tension and anxiety.
The Lord has taught me Scripture study methods through a variety of teachers and techniques. Thankfully, I pulled principles from several and combined them together to create the TEND method. I’ve practiced it for years and it has yielded fruit.
Would it sustain me through this recent storm-tossed season threatening to capsize me?
My daily TEND sessions supplied me with everything I needed, including intimacy with God during a time when I could have questioned His care and presence.
Having not surrendered my life to Jesus until adulthood, I felt pretty behind in Bible knowledge when I first started digging into the Word. I consumed every Bible study, commentary, devotional and book on living out the Bible that I could find.
The studies were helpful and offered such good fertilizer for the soil of my heart. But after a few years I realized I was dependent on second- hand knowledge of God that others offered rather than on the one on one intimacy with Him I craved.
Truth be told, I wasn’t even sure HOW to sit down with my Bible and a journal and just listen for the whisper of God.
I began to prayerfully seek out the HOW behind the teachings. I asked questions and prayerfully drew near to God who promises to draw near to me (James 4:8). In these sessions over time, the TEND method was formed.
For years now, regardless of the circumstances, trials or joys in my current life situation, I have sought to daily tend my soul by the Word of God. In a recent summer morning, I used my TEND method in Habakkuk 2:4. God’s truth that the righteous live by faith wove into the fabric of my day.
Reading the Bible is important.
Bible study offers insights.
Pouring over commentaries and outlining passages illuminates texts.
But if we don’t know how to simply be still and hear the whisper of God through His Word, we will miss the foundational cry of our heart.
We are made to know our God intimately and firsthand. Don’t miss the joy you were made for, friend. I would love to serve you through the TEND method so you too can press in deeper to know Him. Just you, your Bible and the Spirit of God.
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