Can I tell you a secret? Well, it’s more like a confession. I love sand. I mean, really love sand. The feeling of that golden, grainy goodness between my toes is something I look forward to each time I pull onto the shores of Lake Erie. I love how it gets all over you and sticks to everything. When we bought our new-to-us SUV, I couldn’t wait to break it in with a good dose of the beach . . . much to the dismay of my husband. On a recent trip to those sandy shores, when the water was still warm enough for splashing, my kids enjoyed hours in the waves and sticky sand. Days later, as I did the laundry, I could hear the sand spill out from every pocket and crevice. My heart rejoiced. I smiled, remembering that day at the beach with my family, the sand on our skin and brilliance in the sky.
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
“. . . my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
I am the bread of life.”
~Jesus, John 6:32, 48
More numerous than the sands on the shore are the priceless nuggets of truth found in God’s word. When I turn into our state park, just moments from the water’s edge, my heart beats a little faster. I become giddy just thinking about what is beyond the trees. That is the way it should be when I approach the Throne. I tend to forget that every day, as I sit down to the table and prepare to read my Bible, I am taking in the bread of life—manna, straight from Heaven. I want God’s word to stick to me like the sand. Everywhere I go, I want to be reminded of His promises spoken to me in the quiet of the morning.
“My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise.”
“Your words were found, and I ate them,
And your words became to me a joy
and the delight of my heart . . .”
It was 2:00 a.m., and I couldn’t sleep. Believe me, I was trying. Laying in bed, willing for my eyes to stay closed and my brain to turn off. I had even put in my earbuds and was flooded with the sound of praise and worship. Nada. I felt like I could run laps around my block, and might have had it not been for the late hour. Get up. Read your Bible. Get up, Marie, I have something to say to you. It was as though the Lord was speaking straight to my heart. I grabbed my Bible off the shelf and headed for the couch. That’s when something wonderful happened. I started reading and didn’t want to put it down. Now, my insomnia was not something to be dreaded but something to be coveted. It had brought uninterrupted time in the Word. I was soaking it all in, feeling His truth and hope in every corner of my soul. I realized something. He had missed me. I had been missing Him. His words had been written as a love letter for me, but I had been reading them as though they were a list of chores. I had been distracted. I had forgotten. That night, I remembered. They were (are) more valuable than a full night of sleep and more satisfying than any feast.
“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. . . . I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.”
~Job 23:10, 12
“If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.”
It is living, breathing, life-changing. I cannot tell you how many times that I have turned to the Scripture in times of hopelessness and desperation. When a friend is hurting or in trouble, I look to the Bible to offer comfort and direction. When I cannot see my way and have forgotten the purpose before me, His word is the thing to which I cling. What a privilege, one that I often take for granted, to hold a Bible in my hands and to read His words, to hear Him speak to me and to meditate on it night and day.
I have many Bibles in my house. At one time, I think the number had reached over 30—not including digital copies. Many of them are worn from use and look more like a journal for all the highlights, sticky notes, scribbles and papers sticking out all over. But do you know what? None of that matters if I don’t read it with a heart eager to listen. It doesn’t matter if I read an hour or five minutes, if I’m checking off another thing off my to-do list, it has been all in vain. It doesn’t matter if I have grown up in church all my life and know every word to “Standing on the Promises.” If I don’t daily read His promises to me, how will I know where to place my feet? It doesn’t matter if I have a hundred Bibles, if I never read them. That would be like being surrounded by beaches on all sides, yet never going. The sand would never find its way into my car and home. If I don’t open up His word and ask the Spirit to speak to me, His truth will never find its way into my heart. Out of the overflow, the heart speaks (see Matthew 12:34).
Lord, let me speak from an overflow of Your Spirit. Help me to never grow tired of reading Your word. Renew my passion for the Scriptures. Help them to stick to me all day long. Remind me of Your promises when I need them the most. Thank you for the giving me Your complete word and blessing me with the freedom to read it and know it. May I never take that privilege for granted.
“Blessed is the man [whose] delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
Psalm 1:1, 2
*For Further Reading, Check Out Psalm 119 in a Bible Near You!
**And if you are curious to know what passage of scripture I read so late at night, stay tuned for a future post . . . “Restoration Specialist.”