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“He read it aloud from daybreak till noon…in the presence of…men, women and others who could understand…all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.” (Nehemiah 8:3 NIV)

Understanding creates interest.

Today’s verse resumes the story of Nehemiah, our topic recently.  After the completion of the Jerusalem wall, the town gathered together.  From early morning until noon, Ezra read the Old Testament to the crowd.  The people are hungry for God’s word after the miracle they witnessed.  The restoration of the wall was miraculous to them.  They had a new understanding of God they didn’t have before.  Listening to the Priest read His words had new meaning to them.  Understanding created an interest in God, possibly for the first time.

The Israelites experienced God.  The experience gave them understanding.  Understanding created a new interest in God.  

Experience generates understanding.

When we found out my Mom had pancreatic cancer, I experienced God in a new way.  My mother didn’t tell anyone she was sick.  When she ended up in the hospital in need of emergency surgery, we knew.  The operation revealed cancer.  The surgeon didn’t know if the cancer was colon or pancreatic.  He said to pray for colon because it was not recurring.  Pancreatic cancer almost always returns within five years.  I prayed for colon cancer, it was pancreatic. My ultimate prayer, let her live.  The news crushed my heart.  But then God worked a miracle.

Ten years prior my mother had another emergency surgery.  This operation removed an obstruction in her colon caused by an aspirin.  They removed a section of her colon.  The scar tissue from that surgery saved her life.  Mom’s pancreatic cancer grew towards the scar tissue.  The cancer grew into my Mom’s colon instead of up through the middle of her body.   The percentage of cases where surgery is a treatment option for pancreatic cancer is low.  My mother was one of the few.  The true miracle, the surgeon removed all of the cancer.  God gave us five more years with her.  Time to tie up loose ends.  Time to come to grips with her death.  Time to prepare for life without her.  Time to say goodbye.  

God answered my prayer ten years before I prayed it.  He knew I would one day ask Him for more time with my mom. Part of my struggle the first time she had surgery was, “Why?”  Now I knew the answer.  God was prolonging her life.

My experience with God deepened my understanding of God. My new understanding of God made me want to know Him more.  My hunger for His word grew.

Experiencing God deepens our understanding of Him.  Understanding creates a new interest only deeper relationship with Him satisfies.  

Experience, Understand, Grow. Repeat.

Question of the Day:

How are you experiencing God today?

Further Reading: Nehemiah 7:73-9:21 NIV, 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 NIV, Psalm 33:12-22 NIVProverbs 21:11-12 NIV

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