Amy Boucher Pye reminds me - and all of us - how we can engage with Scripture in a moment-by-moment posture.
When Scripture Comes Alive
By Amy Boucher Pye
Recently I had the opportunity to interview Elisa Morgan about hearing God; I love her insight. While walking her dogs last year, she was shifting the leash from one hand to another when Coach saw a rabbit and took off after it. The leash did some crazy things to her finger, resulting in the need for surgery. As Elisa considered her life as a writer and a wife, mom, grandma, sister and so many other roles, she wondered how she would carry on in this hampered state and cried out to God. Then she remembered the verse from Scripture that she had read that very morning: “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13). She understood that this assurance which God gave to Israel, he also gave to her – that he would take her by her right hand (yes, the injured hand) and would help her, so she needn’t fear. (Watch our conversation here.)
God speaks to us all the time, if we would but notice and listen. Elisa engaged with the Bible that morning and was ready to connect what she read with her circumstances—she knew that her loving Father would speak to her through his word. I’m sorry that Elisa was injured, but I love this story of God’s faithfulness and how she received his affirmation and care.
I’ve had Scriptures light up for me in the way that verse from Isaiah did for Elisa. For instance, during one of the lockdowns for the coronavirus pandemic, I had hip-replacement surgery. On the day before my operation, I sensed God highlight to me from his Scriptures: “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16). I felt God underline that verse as the reassurance that he’d been the one to clear the path for my surgery. And indeed, as I looked back over the previous months and how I’d been able to arrange the hip replacement through the National Health Service here in the UK—quite miraculously—I cried out with the psalmist the next line: “How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!”
I recounted in prayer all of the steps of having surgery, giving thanks to God. With each step I knew that God loved me, and indeed had loved me from the foundation of all time. And that all the days in my book were ordained by him. As I went forward into what felt like a scary experience, I trusted that God was with me; that he would be before me and behind me; that he’d be protecting me and holding me close. And he was, and he did. And now I’m back to walking without pain and even participating again in group workout classes, to my delight.
God loves to speak to us through his words in the Bible. Of course, we need to exercise discernment and be wise, but we shouldn't be afraid to sense his Spirit bringing his words to life. He longs for us to tune into how he speaks to us, with the Bible being a key means of communication.
As you pray with the Bible, simply take a couple of verses that you’re reading and slow yourself down to consider the riches they contain by putting them into a prose poem. Reduce the thought down to the essentials and play around with the words; as you do so, God might impress on you a word or phrase that will speak to something dear to you. This is one of my favorite ways to engage with Scripture and turn it into prayers.
How have you sensed God speaking to you through his word?
Amy Boucher Pye is a writer, speaker, and spiritual director. She serves with Elisa Morgan as a writer for Our Daily Bread; she’s also the author of several books, including 7 Ways to Pray and Celebrating Christmas, a book of her reflections and her father’s art. Find her at amyboucherpye.com.