It was like something exploded in my heart.
I can’t explain it any other way. At 14 years old, in a small discipleship group, my youth Pastor gave us homework: read one book of the Bible and the following week, share what stood out to you with the group. I chose Ephesians, and the Holy Spirit unfolded my heart like flower petals in spring. I highlighted almost the entire book.
My love affair with Scripture had begun.
Soon I read other books like Job, Genesis and Matthew. My affection for God grew from childlike wonder to a one-on-one friendship. I was discovering more about Him every time I read. One thing I've learned that has helped me understand the Bible--because let's face it, that can often be a challenge--is to never open it without praying first. I ask the Holy Spirit to give me understanding of what I’m about to read, and that my comprehension and love for God will increase.
I adore books, generally. Stories and the written word are why I chose to major in English Language and Literature in University. But my absolute favourite text is ancient, inspired by the Ultimate Creator.
I know that many are intimidated when reading the Bible. Much of it contains history, and takes place in a culture and across time periods that can be difficult to understand. Others are put off by difficult passages—and even entire books—that can be confusing and at times, shocking. And for some, it’s simply not fun to read.
You know what? I can empathize with all those reasons.
If I can be completely honest with you, my struggle is with consistency. It saddens me, because never once have I read a passage from the Bible and thought that it was a waste of time. If anything, I’ve always felt nourished and satisfied, like I do when enjoying a delicious meal. Even when I don’t come away with a grand revelation, I’ve still felt peace and joy in my spirit. And to me, that’s priceless.
This lack of consistency has revealed to me that it’s easy for me to put other things—unimportant things—before God. But I am also so thankful for the passion God placed in my heart, and that so much that I’ve read gives me fuel to persevere during the hard-to-understand sections.
I am not the same person that I was when I first started to study the Bible. God has used these words to challenge me, convict me, encourage me, motivate me and inspire me, in all areas of life—and most importantly, in my pursuit of Him.
Are you someone who, like so many of us, struggle to read your Bible? If so, I want to encourage you to ask God for the desire to dive into it. God loves to answer these kinds of prayers! A passion to read the Bible may not overcome you right away, but keep reading. Don’t give up. Choose to pick up that book every day and you will see God transform your heart.
The treasures found in this beautiful text are endless. You’ll be surprised at what God can do through it if you let Him!