Hannah C. Hall finds that God is continuously disrupting her plans. Wife to a worship pastor (not in the plans), author and speaker (nope), mom to five kids (definitely nope) Hannah is living proof that “many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Journey with Hannah as she remembers the day the Lord disrupted her good, easy plans with a call to better, deeper, abundant life. It is a grace to welcome Hannah to the farm’s front porch today…
I will never forget the moment it happened.
It was a normal day. I stood at the kitchen sink doing the same thing I did every day, three times a day, forever and ever, amen. I washed dishes.
A young wife and mom, I had a good, easy-ish life. I did what women with good, easy-ish lives do. I cared for my family’s needs. I loved my husband and submitted (sometimes) to his leadership. I read my Bible. I served in church. I had no reason to question my existence, nor did it seem like prime time for a major spiritual crisis.
But then it happened.
Like a rude and uninvited guest, a question barged into my mind. Coming out of nowhere, it suddenly crowded out every other thought, elbowed its way to the front, and bellowed its frustration.
This is the abundant life? Really?
I stopped scrubbing, shocked at myself. Where had that come from? Was it true? Did I really feel that way?
I knew enough to know that my question was based on something Jesus had said. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
Good news, right? Jesus promised his followers abundance. Life to the full. Which, in Jesus-speak, can be translated to mean overflowing joy, peace that passes understanding, guidance from the Holy Spirit, powerful and effective prayers, faith strong enough to move mountains, hope that abounds despite our circumstances . . .
All of which was foreign to me.
Life was good, but it wasn’t abundant. I was missing out. And I do not like missing out.
“I wanted abundance. Fullness. I longed to be satisfied in Christ. I needed living water.”
The problem, I knew, was not on Jesus’s end. The Bible is true, its words without error. Any disappointment I was experiencing was not a failure on God’s part but on mine.
For years I had skimmed, snoozed through, and skipped around in Scripture. I’d even started and stopped an embarrassingly impressive number of Bible reading plans. But these herky-jerky approaches to my quiet time had done me no favors.
I remembered another promise Jesus had made—to a woman he met at a well—that, should she just ask, he would give her a gift: living water. She never had to be thirsty again (John 4:10–14).
Suddenly I knew—with such clarity I couldn’t believe I hadn’t realized it sooner—that I wanted more. I wanted abundance. Fullness. I longed to be satisfied in Christ. I needed living water.
I was thirsty.
And it was time to do something about it.
Let’s just be honest: I wasn’t in a season of life when I could reasonably rearrange my days to work in hours of personal Bible study. The devotionals I tried seemed fluffy and light on doctrine, but heavy-duty Bible studies overwhelmed me.
I needed a way to dig into Scripture that was doable for a busy woman but deep enough for a thirsty soul.
And God was gracious.
Hannah, reading the Bible is not a race to the finish. (The voice of God sounds an awful lot like the voice of reason sometimes, doesn’t it?)
It’s okay to take it slow.
“Beloved, we are allowed—nay, invited—to slow down and savor truth, one passage, one verse, one word at a time.”
And my whole spirit sighed deeply.
What God revealed to me in the days and weeks after that moment was not a fresh, bold concept but rather an ancient spiritual discipline, often overlooked but oh so practical.
Beloved, we are allowed—nay, invited—to slow down and savor truth, one passage, one verse, one word at a time.
Effective? Oh my goodness, yes.
Through my meditation on Scripture, God worked to rearrange my heart. I learned to drink deeply and intentionally from the pages of the Bible, and he opened my eyes to riches that I would have never seen had I not slowed down to look. Linger. Enjoy.
Scripture meditation is not fast and furious, but it is sweet and fruitful.
“Once we’ve tasted and seen God’s goodness and the all-satisfying abundance he offers us in Christ, we’ll know we’d have to be crazy not to drink as deeply and as often from that sweet living water as we possibly can.”
Not sure how to do it?
Let’s just start with a sip.
Choose a verse or short scripture passage to read… and reread. Pause there as long as it takes to look deep, linger over, and enjoy what God says.
Together, let’s dig in to understand, prayerfully ask God to reveal, and boldly believe that we will be changed by the truths we discover.
Best of all, let’s slowly begin to lose our good, easy lives as we joyfully find better, abundant lives in Christ.
There will still be dishes to do. Life will probably always be busy.And there will be a million reasons not to sit ourselves down and soak in the Word.
But now we’ll know better.
Because once we’ve tasted and seen God’s goodness and the all-satisfying abundance he offers us in Christ, we’ll know we’d have to be crazy not to drink as deeply and as often from that sweet living water as we possibly can.
And together, I believe we will say, “We’ve drank deeply, and we’re satisfied. Life in Christ truly is fully, wonderfully, beautifully abundant.”
Hannah C. Hall is a wife to Josh, a mom to five, a caretaker of barnyard critters, and the okay-est member of the family band, The Happy Hallelujahs. Ten years ago, Hannah’s writing journey began with one little children’s book that turned into 30 plus titles and over a million in sales. Thirsty: 12 Weeks of Drinking Deeply from God’s Word is her first book for grownups.
Written specifically for busy women desperate for a deeper walk with the Lord, Thirsty is a unique approach to a daily devotional. Each week of devotions focuses on one verse or short passage of scripture, embracing the ancient art of scripture meditation, but in down-to-earth language and a doable approach. Because reading the Bible is not a race to the finish, let Thirsty encourage you to slow down, savor truth, and be abundantly changed by what God reveals.
[ Our humble thanks to Revell for their partnership in today’s devotion ]