As a lawyer, it was interesting how I approached my thirst to learn more about God after the night He comforted me. I was quite analytical.
“First things first, get a Bible,” I thought.
I mean, I wasn’t a moron. I knew the Bible was God’s “law.” As a recent law school graduate, this seemed like the most practical place to start.
In the name of “legal research,” I went to a bookstore. I skimmed the “religion” section and moved past the tarot card and astrology books. I gazed uncomfortably at the lady standing in the self-help section one row over. I wasn’t sure what would be worse for me – if someone I knew spotted me in “self-help” or by the Bibles. Either way, I’d be pegged as a crazy person.
Once I found the Bibles, I was overwhelmed. There are a million different kinds of Bibles – King James Version, New King James Version, New Living Translation, New Life Version – who knew there were so many varieties of the same book? I certainly wasn’t going to hunt someone down at Barnes & Noble and ask “Which Bible is right for me?”
So, I used a sophisticated technique to select my Bible (the Bible I still use today). I picked one that was pink. Done.
I can now say without fear of being spotted by someone I know – because it is hard to be conspicuous on the internet – that I am the proud owner of a One Year Bible for Women – New Living Translation, 2nd Edition as published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. in Carol Stream, Illinois.
Surprisingly (or perhaps not that surprising) – people have strong opinions about Bibles – and will openly tell you to “use this one” or “that one is better.” I say pick the Bible that works best for you and enjoy.
I paid for the Bible with the money I’d typically use to buy wine and stashed it in my backpack. You’d think I was toting around illicit content and not the Word of God. Twelve years later – I look back at this chapter of my life and laugh. I was so ridiculous.
Right after work, I went home, cracked the cover of that Bible and started reading. I immediately liked “my” Bible because it was a “one a day.” This means the book is divided into easily digestible segments of Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs.
Turns out – the “Bible” – is a real page turner. I’m not kidding! I’d always been an avid reader – pouring through volumes of books in a month – and I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable the Bible was (and is) to read.
For anyone who is a fan of “Lord of the Rings” or “Game of Thrones” – I can tell you right now that J.R.R. Tolkien and George Martin got nothing on God’s Word.
The Bible is wonderful – it uses incredible imagery and the content is rich. Every time you read it – you take away something new. Your relationship to the “characters” inside deepens. And before you know it – something starts to change in you too. The book becomes a part of you – and you become a part of it.
To say that I became “obsessed” with the Bible is an understatement. I never felt like I was just reading a book – I felt like I was having a conversation with someone very wise.
As a young adult – I made so many mistakes. I carried the burdens of regret, fear, sadness, anxiety and shame with me. I felt heavy. In comparison, God’s Word was a comforting – albeit stern – voice answering questions and addressing concerns. I received real counsel. More than once, I laughed out loud when I read something in the Bible because it was so dead on. It was like God spoke directly to me.
After reading my Bible, I’d think – “Wow, I’ve got a lot of work to do.” But I never felt bad about myself. Hope took root in my heart. God’s Word watered the seed.
As I read more, my relationship with God deepened and my desire to know him more intimately grew. I realized that I didn’t just want God’s Word to be on my nightstand. I wanted it to be present with me everywhere I went. I wanted to be a part of God’s family (badly) and I wanted him to be a part of mine.
During this chapter of my faith journey, my only regret (largely because of my own pigheadedness) – was that I did not seek out a Christian community to support me. I am prideful and this world has conditioned me to think that “I” know best and that “I” am always right. In this respect? “I” am a moron.
What I eventually discovered, is that there is “one” who knows way more than me – and that is Jesus. It took the right church to help me “let go”, accept Christ’s love for me and trust that I deserve it.
But it was the Bible that got me started. Buying that book remains the best decision I ever made in my life. It is my comfort; my cup of laughter; my joy; and my tough love whenever I need it. I don’t need a network or WiFi to be connected. All I have to do is open the pages of my Father’s book – drink – and be satisfied.
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“I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 7:38-39.