My Bible, My Life
- April 23, 2021
- Lori Travers
Being given an NIV, Thompson Chain Reference Bible 37 years ago (I believe it was just about April also, but since I tend to miss details, I have no recollection of the date) began a lifelong discovery of mysteries that would be revealed day after day, year after year, and I am confident will go on into eternity. There is no bottom to the ocean of realities that the Lord speaks to me on a regular basis, wave after wave. This is surprising to me as my tendency is to live in my head, to lean upon my own understanding, and to embrace what I perceive to be “reasonable”. Yet, getting swept away in Spirit-led revelation, I realize that human reason is sick, feeble, and unsubstantial when squared against the depths of God’s Word.
The last thing I ever want to be seen as is a legalist! God forbid it ever would be said about me. That being said, I’d like to give a perspective on the Living Word that seems to be slowly fading away within a culture that’s captured with screen time.
What I mean is this: There’s a richness that comes out of pages of scripture, a tactile sense that can be felt, seen, and even smelled. The written Word was developed, compiled, and completed over what appears to be a period of 1,500 years. These were written painstakingly with incredible patience and accuracy by scribes, the few who were actually able to read in write in ancient times. So much more could be said concerning this, but my point in this is to say that none of the words we read in scripture were compiled haphazardly. The end result of such care has given us this remarkable canon that we so easily have access to in the western hemisphere. And to that end, I make my case for revering such a treasure.
Over my Christian lifetime, I have highlighted, underlined, and doodled in my bible. I have journaled my thoughts concerning a passage, asked God questions in the margin, added exclamation points, question marks, and sad faces. I have filled in every last blank page with notes on who God is, His triune nature, what it means to be born-again, as well as referencing passages on Heaven and eternal life. Some things I’ve dated, some I did not. But this bible I hold in my hand and in my heart records my relationship with my Maker over the course of my life. That is a weighty, glorious thing and I do not take it lightly.
So when I see my fellow believers flippantly viewing scripture from their iPhones or androids without weaving the Word into their hearts, it saddens me. There’s something solid and lasting when the Word is opened, pen is in hand, prayers are spoken, and tears are falling. When Jesus meets me with a verse I’ve read frequently, yet it suddenly comes to life in a very personal way, it washes over my heartache. When I’ve faced a difficulty, feeling quite insecure and God awakens the warrior in me with the reminder that I am armed for battle in the spiritual realm. When I’m feeling the futility of life and depression starts to cover my mind like a shroud, the Word takes on new life in my soul and I become renewed, restored, refreshed, and reminded of who I am, but better yet, Who HE is. These experiences are highlighted in the physical bibles I’ve used over the years and when I need reminders of how my God came through for me (ONCE AGAIN!) I look back on these pages and I see His fingerprint and I feel His heart and it centers me one more time.
Maybe I don’t perceive what others experience when they use their devices for reading the Word. It just feels highly unlikely to me that I could experience the same depth of emotion looking back on a device as I do on the actual, physical pages of scripture. And at the end of my earthly life, I seriously doubt that anyone will care to find my bible app, uncover the password, and read whatever cyber notes I managed to write. As it is, all anyone will have to do is go to the bookshelf or the coffee table, open my tattered, overly used NIV and see who I was (in addition to some journals lying around!)
I would love to say the same of you. Please keep an open mind in regard to this (and an open bible, too )