People have asked me many times over the past 18 months of my journey with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), “how have you stayed so peaceful and strong through it all?”

Sometimes I don’t feel as at peace or as strong as I may appear. However, more often than not, I am.

I believe the reason is that throughout my life I have read the Bible on a regular basis and the word that was in me has given me strength in my time of need. As a believer, a Christian, I hold the Bible in high esteem and see it as a necessary tool to shape my soul and spirit.

Someone once said, “we don’t learn to sail in stormy seas”.  In other words, don’t wait until you are in a storm to learn to sail. Don’t wait until you need the words of God in your life to find out what they are. You could find yourself sinking instead of sailing.

When I was first diagnosed with MND, Lenore, my wife, said to me, “I can’t even read the Bible, I can’t focus, it’s all just too much.”  We encouraged each other to let what we had read and heard previously rise up and give us strength.

It’s called “meditation” or “Holy Spirit enlightenment.”  It comes from chewing on what the Bible says, from reflecting on it and considering how you can apply it to your personal world.

I would hate to think where we would be if we hadn’t already learnt to sail, spiritually speaking.

When I go to a quiet place and read my Bible, it’s not to avoid the world and its challenges but to build my own inner self and strength to be able to deal with anything that comes.

I try every morning to set time aside for reading the Bible and write down something  about what I’ve read. I may just copy down one verse or a needed encouragement at the time. In fact, since 2007, I have determined to write at least something that each chapter has revealed to me.

When I do this, it may have no real connection to my immediate circumstances but it’s like putting money in the bank for a rainy day. I will draw from it sooner or later and I’ll be ready.

In Psalm 23, we find that the shepherd makes the sheep lay down on green pastures. Green pastures are typically what the sheep would eat. This says to me that there comes times when our Shepherd, Jesus, wants us to “lay down” or rest and on what we would normally “eat”.

Here is a verse from the Bible, why not just read it, think about it, and meditate on it.  See if you receive insight, strength or encouragement to your soul.

Psalm 46:1 – “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”