So I have this problem. You know how people who have been rich their whole lives don’t often recognize the rare luxuries they possess? The less fortunate would trade for just a slice of the affluent lifestyle in a heartbeat, yet the rich are so chronically indulged, they fail to appreciate their wealth or take full advantage of its pleasures.
That’s me. And that’s my problem.
No, I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about something much more valuable. For greater than all the gold in the world is the very Word of God, and I’ve possessed it my whole life.
It was spoken to me pre-birth, sung to me at bedtime, taught at church, home, and school . . . and I even attended Bible college. I have read all 66 books multiple times. I own numerous copies in various forms and have bits and pieces hanging from my walls. Whether by obligation or by choice, an endless supply of Bible has been made available to me for 30+ of my 30+ years.
But do I even recognize the luxury? Have I made good use of this, the greatest Treasure that anyone could possess? Or has it become such a natural, everyday part of life, that it sits neglected or becomes routine? Has familiarity so dulled my senses, that I struggle to read with awe?
Not to mention . . .
When I do read, I fight a lifetime of presuppositions. It feels almost impossible to see the Text with fresh eyes due to layer upon layer of lenses. My ability to recognize raw Truth is shut out by preexisting teachings, viewpoints, conclusions, and the like, and I find myself thinking my own thoughts more than I think God’s.
That’s why it’s scary to have known the Bible your whole life.
While I’m grateful beyond measure that the Word was near from the earliest of my days, I am truly jealous of the Christian who reads the pages of Scripture for the first time. Who gazes, eyes wide and jaw dropped, at its glory. Who so innocently accepts whatever God says to be true. Who drinks deeply and can never get enough. Who rejoices as one who finds Bread after wandering in the desert. What I would give for unending love-at-first-sight.
But then I remind myself that a Word-filled life is not the problem – a stagnant Word-filled life is. A Scripture-saturated story is not the problem – a numb, distracted heart in the midst of it is.
So, I thank God for my Word-filled life and pray to be filled even more. I pray for a childlike awe and novice’s infatuation. For freshness and clarity and unspeakable joy. I pray that the Bible not be so familiar that it sits shelved and unappealing to my accustomed heart. Instead, may the Bible become so familiar, it works in me like the breath in my lungs and the blood in my veins to produce ever-giving life, so that I just can’t go on without it.
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