I was listening to a teaching while making dinner the other day when one comment from the pastor caught my attention. He said he used to take his old Bible from highschool (he’s now in his fifties) down off of the bookshelf and just smell it to remind himself of grace. The Holy Spirit quickened to my mind my own Bible from highschool. It is a small, burgundy New American Standard Bible given to me by my parents for Easter my senior year of highschool. My eyes filled with tears at the thought of this Bible because, indeed it represents such grace to me.
The next day, one of my sons wanted to take the burgundy Bible to Sunday school. I told him no, because it was a special Bible and I didn’t want to risk it getting lost at church. He asked me why it was special so I explained to him that when I was a teenager, the Bible seemed boring to me. I didn’t understand it very well, and I had a hard time reading it everyday. But one year on New Year’s Eve, I was getting ready to make yet another doomed commitment to read the Bible each day, when I decided to just pray ,”God, please help me to want to read your Word.” I woke up the next morning and began reading. To make a long story short, I explained to my son that God, being so kind and gracious, had answered my prayer. It wasn’t everyday at first, but eventually, as God spoke to me through scripture, and I saw my life changing, I was compelled to read daily.
I love the smell of grace on that Bible. It was in that book that I fell in love with the Word of God. It was there that I had experienced for the first time divine illumination. I learned in that Bible how true communion with God really happens. I learned that those words were life to me.
Psalm 19:7-10 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea than much fine gold; sweeter also than the honeycomb.
I use a different Bible these days, but the same grace is there in its pages.
I’d love to hear about when and how you fell in love with God’s Word.
*originally posted in February ’05