My Most Important Reading Assignment

My Most Important Reading Assignment

by Rebecca Olson

 

It’s my junior year of high school, and you all know what that means. Work. Lots of work.

I’ve been so swamped with homework, I’ve barely had time for anything else. But I’ve tried to make time for one thing: reading my Bible. And I actually have been!

This is my longest streak yet for reading my Bible daily. (I may have missed a few days here and there, but I’ve been trying, and I’m pretty proud of how often I’ve been reading it.) Anyway, I just wanted to share some of the things God’s been teaching me.

The first Bible passage I was convicted by was right before I went to school. I really didn’t want to return, so I had been in a miserable mood for a few weeks. At that time I read Proverbs 31, the chapter about the ideal wife. Verses 25 and 26 read, “She is strong and is respected by the people. She looks forward to the future with joy. She speaks wise words and teaches others to be kind.” (ESV)

These verses really struck a chord with me. They described an attitude that a godly woman should have–and it was pretty much the opposite of the way I had been acting. I was being whiny and childish. I was dreading the future, and even worse, complaining about it every chance I got.

I was speaking without thinking, wasting my words to gripe and moan rather than to build people up and be useful. I was teaching those younger than me that it’s okay to complain and argue, which is exactly the opposite of what God wants us to do.

It hit me then that I needed a major attitude check. I prayed about it, and from that moment on I worked really, really hard to change the way I was acting.

It wasn’t easy. Being grumpy had become a habit, and it took the rest of the summer to break that. But I slowly became a more encouraging, agreeable person, and I went into the school year with a much better attitude.

Once school began, I came to another realization. I’m scared of everything. I had never really thought about it before, but as I started to get more opportunities to step out and talk about my faith, I realized how scared of that I really was. I was worried about judgment more than anything else. I was scared of being that “weird Christian girl.”

One day, my youth leader told me that he could see my faith deepening, and that he was hoping I’d step up to have more of a leading role in our youth group. He wasn’t asking me to do anything difficult, just to speak up more and help guide some of the newer Christians in the group. And yet the thought really scared me.

When I went home that night and read my bible, I came across Psalm 91:4. “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you can hide. His truth will be your shield and protection.” (ESV) This verse was an absolute comfort to me. “He will cover you with His feathers.” Doesn’t that just sound like the best, most comforting hug in the universe? That verse reminded me that I need to step out in faith more.

God’s always protecting me. He helps me be ready for whatever life throws my way, and He’s there to shield me when I get scared.

I picked those two verses because they’ve had a pretty dramatic impact on me. They have definitely become two of my favorites. I’m excited to see what else God has in store for me this year, and what other bits of biblical wisdom I’ll pick up along the way.

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