A month or two ago, as we were walking out the door to go to church Sunday morning, I happened to grab my Bible and put it in my purse. This in itself doesn't seem weird, except for the fact that I usually never bring it – I'd just use the Bible app on my phone during services. Chris even commented, saying he'd never even seen my Bible before. It's actually one I got in junior high, with my maiden name engraved on it, and it shows how many times it's joined me outdoors at summer camps and youth retreats. It's filled with lime green highlighter. I'm kind of sentimental about it.
Anyway, after church this one Sunday, I just left it in my purse. I'm not very good at keeping my purse cleaned out, and my Bible fit nicely in there next to my planner (though adding a good few pounds of weight). It ended up that the following week, I had the opportunity to go to a nearby park for quiet time on my lunch break. I read from my physical Bible, and not my app, and I realized that I love it. I get to visually see my progress of what I've read. It feels nice. I go back and re-read parts more easily. I feel like I'm taking in what I'm reading.
So now I'm carrying it with me all of the time – I've found that instead of checking my phone while waiting somewhere, sometimes I'll take out my Bible and read. Last weekend, our small group went out of town and spent some time at a lake house, and I squeezed in quite a bit of reading. I purposefully didn't bring any of my 12 in 12 with me so that I would read my Bible. I ended up reading half of Paul's letters. I ate. It. Up. Sometimes at work when I need a quick break, I pull out my Bible for five minutes. I've found that I just love having at my fingertips, ready for me to dive in.
I've been praying specifically these past few months about getting to know God more intimately. This might sound funny, but I've described it in this way to a handful of people now: I love the ocean. It's my favorite sight out of all of nature, out of any travels I could take, I want pictures of it all around me. I love the colors it contains, the peace and calm it brings me, I love the vastness of it and the mystery it's depths behold. It's powerful and terrifying and majestic and beautiful all at once. I could stand all day on the shore, jumping up and down, telling everyone, "Look at this ocean! Look how amazing it is!" But... I can't bring myself to get in. It's too big. I don't know what's out there. What might I brush up against? What could I see? What if I'm afraid, or lost, or hurt? That pretty accurately sums up how I feel in my relationship with Christ. I love Him, I've experienced the joy and the peace He brings, I believe in His truth wholeheartedly, and I've experienced life change. I want to tell everyone about Him. But I also feel that getting to know Him truly is so vast... where do I even start? What might I find?
Since admitting this a few months ago, a lot of these questions have begun to be answered for me (and what would you know, created even more questions. It's seriously good). I'm finding that now that I've said, "OK, I think I'm ready to jump in the water... or at least get in up to my ankles" – I'm finding that God has started doing some serious construction work on my heart. More on that later (it's enough for a blog post in itself!), but I'm also finding a lot of comfort in having His word with me.
I've always enjoyed listening to speakers and reading people's writings about Christianity, and that has brought me a lot of growth in my life. But I wasn't sure how I felt about actually sitting down with the word of God – I feared I wouldn't know where to begin, and wasn't sure what I'd get out of it without "guidance" of some sort. But I'm so glad that I just decided to try.
All of this to say... if you're interested in strengthening your knowledge of God, if you're interested in knowing Him on a more personal level, if you feel that something's missing in your life (that church on Sunday is great, but past that you're not sure where to go), I highly recommend sticking your Bible in your purse. The extra weight is worth it :)
Image via That's Pretty Ace