I like instructions, preferably with pictures, too. It makes any new task easier from cooking to putting a bookshelf together. Directions help us avoid costly mistakes and speed the completion of any job.
The purpose for instructions isn't to suppress our creative spirit, but to make our experience better. Most cooks tweak recipes based on family preferences. Some items of clothing are clearly sewn by a particular seamstress, based on their attention to detail. Instruction from a master musician is a privilege. Studying with a master of any art is an opportunity to be treated as a gift.
What if we thought of time in God's word as a way to study with the Master. It is, indeed, just that. We can hide in it, steep in it, learn from it and grow as we engage and apply it's teaching to our days. From Psalm 32:
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. -Psalm 32:7-9
The Lord gave us His Word to understand his mind and his heart. His ways may not always be clear, but he is our hiding place in times of struggle. Knowing him builds the trust. Reading His Word helps us to know him. Our instincts as to how to follow his ways through the course of our days grow sharper as we steep ourselves in his instruction.
The comparison to the horse or mule hits home. It reminds me that true strength is when we lasso our tongues and bridle our impulses and seek His face for guidance.
Today, I am grateful for instructions.