Twelve years. Twelve years since the Lord opened my eyes to my need for Him. Twelve years since surrendering my life of legalism, selfishness, and pride to Him. Twelve years of walking with Him, some nearer than others. Looking back, one thing was consistent through these years—I constantly struggled to know how my time in the Word should look.
Enter last year: A dear friend and fellow sister in my discipleship group mentioned reading through the Bible in a year using a chronological plan. I had begun many plans before and failed a month or so in. Last year when my friend mentioned the plan she did and would do again in 2020, I had the desire to give the chronological plan a try (Thanks, Holy Spirit). January 2020 began, and I started in Genesis rereading stories I had read in chunks throughout my 31 years of life but never with the whole story of Scripture in view.
Spoiler alert: My days in 2020 have truly been sustained through the reading of the Word.
How did I do it?
I used The Bible Recap chronological plan, which has the passage for the day to read and a short 5-8 minute podcast recapping the passage for that day. My favorite part of this plan was the emphasis Tara-Leigh Cobble, who hosts the podcast, put on the “God shot.” Tara-Leigh encourages readers to look for the Lord in every passage. Whether it’s the laws of Leviticus, the poetry of Psalms, the prophecy in Haggai, or the beautiful Gospels, He can be found among the pages. If I were to name one thing that my time in the Word lacked in the past, it was wanting to read a plan just to read the Bible (Hello, constant struggle of legalism!). This year, my heart—by prompting of the Holy Spirit—desired to know Him and see Him in His Word. And sisters, “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13)
Did I have a certain routine?
One thing that was key for me this year was letting go of the “rules.” I have a toddler who sometimes wakes up before I’m finished reading. We are living in days of a pandemic where I may or may not have two seconds of alone time from the moment I wake until I go to bed. Previously, if I couldn’t have the quiet time to find that application and feel good about what I’d accomplished in reading, I would put it off until the next day. Some days this year my “reading” has been listening to the passage through the Dwell app (which I recommend!) while heading to the store to pick up groceries. Some days it’s been reading at the breakfast table as my son scribbles on my notepad by my side. Some days it’s been before bed after everyone else is settled for the night. And occasionally it’s in the quiet of the morning with a cup of coffee and just a lamp lighting my peaceful living room. The Lord has revealed the goodness of His Word. And the richness that has come from this time hasn’t been because of some great routine or plan I had, but in the goodness and richness of who He is—and there is great freedom to be found there.
Spiritually, how has this changed me?
One of my favorite things to come out of developing a discipline of being in God’s Word and reading through the Bible chronologically was getting to see the ripple effect that comes from sitting daily in the living and active Word of God. The Lord birthed in me thirst from daily seeing Him and being with Him; I truly felt like something was missing if l ever got too far into my day without being in the Word. I saw with new eyes the ways my actions were affected by a lack of sitting in the Word. In turn, as I walked through Scripture chronologically this year with the Lord, my excitement to share what I saw about Him with my husband, son, and those I encountered grew. My ears perked up in Bible study and in sermons as passages I had recently walked through were mentioned. Lastly, and most importantly, my awe and worship of the One every story points to exploded and grew exponentially.
What would I say to a woman considering reading through the Bible chronologically?
YES, please do it! I can think of nothing more worthwhile to spend your days doing than growing in your knowledge and walk with the One whom these pages speak of as Judge, Fulfillment of the law, Prince of Peace, the Atonement for sins, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and on and on. If the Lord is leading you to this path in this next year, lay those desires at His feet. Beg Him to sustain you and open your eyes that you may behold wonderful things from His law (Ps. 119:18). Then, sit back and drink deeply from the life-giving Word.
We’ll be sharing a monthly chronological Bible reading plan that will help us grow and understand how the Bible fits together. Click here to see the January 2021 Know His Word Reading Plan and get started!
Kaitlin Redmond serves as a graphic designer on the Lifeway Women team. She’s a native of Nashville, TN, and considers herself a homebody. She and her husband, Chris, get to be parents to their sweet son Jack, and they are expecting a baby girl this spring. She loves spending time in the Word with women, exercising, and going on picnics in the backyard with her family. The Lord has given her a rich community of women who have inspired a love for God’s Word and a desire to know Him deeper. You can follow her on Instagram @kaitlin_redmond.