Spiritual Musings

The Smell of Grace

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. 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.

7 thoughts on “The Smell of Grace

  1. I don’t have as clear a memory of it as you do. But I do remember around the age of 13 I began having personal devotions on my own in a serious way. I used “Our Daily Bread” and began journaling about my Bible reading, as opposed to just journaling about my life. Probably life circumstances had something to do with it, as we were without a home during that year. As a child, you tend to rely on your parents, and this was at this time it was becoming clear to me that you have to rely on God most of all. Also, God brought Philippians 4:11b–13 alive: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” I’d been a Christian for sometime before this time, but I feel like God’s word really became personal to me from this point on.

  2. Wow, Danielle. that is so good to hear. my boys are ten and after reading your testimony i have fresh faith that they could have the same experience already.

  3. I sometimes wish I had been that young! I was saved during my sophomore year of college, and it was after that when the Word started to really come alive. I was going through some very tough circumstances at the time, and suddenly, the Word started to speak to my trials; it was definitely a distinct time. Like you though, it certainly wasn’t everyday at first, but I saw the value pretty quickly. I needed it badly. I still have the Bible I used then, and you are right – it holds a very special place in my heart and is a reminder of the grace that was there. Plus, there was this guy that used to jokingly mock me for having a pink bible. Now, it’s in a bible cover on the shelf so that he doesn’t have to remember it’s pink 🙂

  4. Laurie
    I love this testimony of yours. I love how God has become real to you through His Word. I love when God, in His kindness, opens our eyes to see Him and know Him through His Word. I love His Word…and yet like Danielle, I’m not sure exactly when this occured. I think it’s been a cumulative effect over many years of trying circumstances. I’d have to say, though, that the foundation was laid at a very young age…when I attended Christian day school and bible memorization was required. A verse my mom inscribed in a bible of mine (which the thought of is making me cry..surprise!) was Psalm 119:11, “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee”. God graciously allowed me to hide His Word in my heart at a young age through the means of grace, that being a Christian school. I believe this was the starting place, the foundation that God used later in life to bring about a passion for His Word.

    Oh..I just thought of the “moment”…it’s kind of funny though..b/c it is such a clear picture of God taking impure motives and redeeming them (such is the story of my life, but hopefully will give hope to others, especially moms)…
    I was in China! There were a few of us from our team playing a “game” one night. It was two of my team leaders and one other guy from our team. One person would read a scripture, usually not a well known passage, and the others would have to chime in with the reference. I don’t think I got any of them…I walked away upset that I knew so little of God’s Word. I realized I knew the very familiar passages but was driven by my competitive nature to learn the more obscure passages. In my pride, sad to say, I walked away feeling like less than a mature Christian and vowed that I would know the Word from that point on.

    But, God took that and redeemed my motives and execution from that point on. I did dive in with the help of college Bible studies and consistent quiet times throughout my college days. Since then, God has simply kept me in His Word out of desperation…I feel like I’ve lived in a fairly consistent state of desperation since college and while I sometimes wish for a more comfortable set of circumstances, I have come to appreciate how that desperation keeps me communing with God through primarly His Word…it has brought such hope, purpose, clarity to my life let alone a greater awareness of His Love and committment to my good and His glory!

  5. I think God grabbed my heart with His Word the very first morning I was saved. I woke up that morning and realized that God had answered my cry for salvation and He was real…and that for 18 years I had lived not knowing whether or not He was real. I opened up the Bible that morning wanting to know as much as I could about the God who is real and who just saved me. I couldn’t put His Word down! It was 2 months before I came into contact with other Christian fellowship…but for those 2 months I grew in love with God through His Word. I was even able to make it through Leviticus and Numbers as a new Christian and STILL not be able to put it down! I still can’t.

  6. What a blessing to hear everyone’s response! I grew up in the WORD but the summer of 1999, before my senior year of high school, the WORD breathed into my heart. I began to see glimpses of the Holy Spirit and how He illuminated the WORD and pricked my heart. I remember reading I Peter 5, and re-reading, and re-reading that passage knowing it was meant for today. That taste began developing a thirst.


    That high led to an extreme low my senior year – battling an eating disorder and loneliness. I struggled to breathe the WORD, until March of 2000 when God taught me the true meaning of grace and how the WORD became flesh and dwelt among us, died and rose again FOR ME! The WORD not only became flesh but BECAME my SALVATION.

    To all who are thirsty – COME!

  7. I ditto Amanda’s first sentence. what a huge blessing to hear everyone’s response. Thank you for taking time to share. my heart is stirred afresh to delight in pursuing fellowship with God through His Word.

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