By Guest Columnist Bettie Byrd
Son: “What are you doing, Mom?”
Mom: “My quiet time.”
Son: “Oh, I thought you did that early in the morning.”
Mom: “I do, Son. I’m just not finished yet. There is so much to learn in God’s Word. Sometimes I just can’t stop reading and studying and talking to God.”
I feel the same way. When I go to bed at night, I am already looking forward to getting up in the stillness and quietness of early morning. Nothing can compare to my special chair in the living room, a cup of home-brewed coffee or tea, reading my Bible, and talking to God in prayer. It is the fuel that starts my day, the energy that keeps me going, the sustenance of my life, the blood that courses through my veins. It renews my soul.
My hunger for God’s Word started when I was a child. My great-aunt Ruby, a lover of books, gave me a Rainbow Bible for Christmas. At eight years of age, I proudly carried my Bible to church and tried to read the words in tiny print but sometimes found them difficult to understand.
A year later, Aunt Ruby gave me a copy of Hurlburt’s Story of the Bible. Like my Rainbow Bible, this book contained glossy pictures that drew me into the stories. I began reading through the huge Bible storybook, digesting the stories from God’s Word.
When I was 11, I spent my first week at Roanoke Christian Service Camp. Here I learned that setting a certain time—making an appointment every day to read God’s Word and pray—is something every Christian should do in order to stay in sync with God. The lesson I learned that summer is one of the most important lessons I have learned in my walk with God. After all, how can I walk with God if I don’t talk to him and listen to him?
Making that special time with God wasn’t difficult during middle school, high school, and college. When I became a wife and a mother, however, the only way to be sure I met with God for a special time alone was to schedule an appointment first thing in the morning, around 5:00 a.m. An hour or so later, there would be little feet padding through the house, mouths to feed, and a long to-do list to manage.
My passion and desire for God’s Word grew throughout the years. The Scriptures became “like honey on my lips.” My craving for the Word became insatiable. My appetite for the Word of God became enormous. No longer was there a need to set the alarm clock. The hunger in my soul awakened me, and still awakens me, each morning.
If, by the grace of God, I have managed to keep those sweet hours of prayer and study for the past 52 years of my life, then what benefits have those precious minutes brought to me?
More than I can recount.
Bettie Byrd is vice president of prayer, operations, and personnel for Team Expansion in Louisville, Kentucky.