I've had this feeling many times, so I hope it's normal. I saw someone commenting on a blog post I was reading yesterday, saying they felt in a bit of a rut with their Bible reading, so it was comforting to see I wasn't alone.
I think, like most ruts, the solution to getting out of it involves trying something a bit different to what you've been doing. Sounds obvious, but I think it's easy to forget. We're busy people, old habits are hard to break and all that.
I posted here yesterday about starting a Bible reading plan to read through the Bible in chronological order. I haven't ever read the Bible right through (I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that) so at the moment I'm all enthusiastic about it. Previous experience tells me I may find it harder going as time progresses so I am trying to find someone who'll help me to be accountable with it, maybe by doing it with me. My brother commented when I shared yesterday's post on Facebook so I'm hoping I might be able to convince him to do it. For the moment, I'm parking the three year old on the bed next to me in the mornings after breakfast with her Jesus Storybook Bible and getting her to read her Bible while I'm reading mine. This is an on again, off again strategy I've tried so she sees me reading the Bible and then I can talk with her about the children's version. It's not always successful because she'll want me to read the story in her Bible to her after she finishes having a very quick chat to herself about the pictures ("he's wearing a pink shirt" "trees all cut down" "that's a purple boat" are among the profound insights I hear as she's doing her quiet time). Usually I can get her to wait till I'm finished reading so I read the real story to her after that.
My husband and I also read the Bible together each night before we go to bed. It's not the ideal time of the day to do it. The bigger kids don't see us reading the Bible so the danger is that they think we're not doing it at all. I've been known to fall asleep during the prayer time after we read, so I have to keep my eyes open during praying (not helpful for concentrating on what we're praying about). But it's the best we can do at the moment until we sort out a better routine.
For a while now, we've been reading through short studies in the large backlog of Briefing magazines we have kept over many years. Generally these follow the format of reading through a book (or section of a book) from the Bible, following the chapters in sequential order. This is very worthwhile to do, but we were starting to feel a bit stale with it all.
So I was happy to find a series of topical readings on mercy in one of the back issues from a couple of years ago. Moving through different parts of the Bible to see what it says on a specific topic is different from what we've been doing for the last year or so, so it's reignited the spark of interest to hang in there and keep reading.
Something else I signed up for recently was the Live Light in 25 Words campaign that the Bible Society have going at the moment. They send you a Bible verse each day (as close as possible to 25 words long), the contextual passage that the verse comes from so you can go away and look it up yourself, and a question to reflect on. It's another something different to keep me thinking about God's word to us in the Bible.
In the past, I haven't found it easy to hang in there with prayer and Bible reading times. I do it regularly for a while, then things get busy and I fall off the wagon. But I'm finding over time that it's getting easier to get back on and keep going. And each time this happens, I think it gets a little bit easier to do. The stretches where I am reading my Bible are getting much longer than they used to be. At the moment it's more unusual for me not to do it.
Perseverance is important, but in the end I can only do it with God's help. I'm thankful that He gives us the strength to keep going and the understanding that comes from immersing ourselves in the Bible each day.
Images from here and here.