Read Romans 15:1-13

Whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction so that we could have hope through endurance and through the encouragement of the scriptures.—Romans 15:4 (CEB)

I heard it again. I woke up to the same sound that I had heard every morning for the previous three weeks: da, da, da, da, da in rapid succession. When I first heard it, I had a suspicion that I knew the source of the noise. When I ventured outside to confirm my suspicion, I found that a woodpecker, with its characteristic red stripe, had discovered a power pole that must have been full of insects. The woodpecker would stay there the entire day, driving its beak into the wood again and again feeding on the bugs.

Reflecting on the woodpecker’s behavior, I had to ask myself a question: Do I linger in God’s word with the same kind of dedication and focus as the woodpecker does on this power pole? The wooden pole houses rich nutrients for this bird, and I know that the Bible grants me spiritual wisdom. Surely I need to be as consistent in pursuing God’s gift of abundant life found in scripture.

A centuries-old practice called lectio divina helps me explore God’s word more deeply. Reading each Bible verse or story four times, interspersed with pausing and reflecting, prompts me to discern and savor God’s message in truly profound ways. And whenever I hear the woodpecker, I thank him for his reminder.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we need you. Help us to discern the wisdom of your word by reading it daily and savoring it. In Jesus name. Amen.

Thought for the day: I can go deeper into God’s word by pondering each verse.