by Heather Bock
I’ve been reading the Bible my whole life. My parents read it to me before I could read, and I read it myself as soon as I could form the words alone. I remember waking scared of the dark when I was little, crawling down from my bed, flipping on the lights, and opening my light pink Precious Moments Bible to Psalm 4:8: “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety” (NKJV).
I loved reading it cover to cover, so when I ended up at a Christian college, and it was time to choose a major, it didn’t take long to decide on Theological Studies—the most Bible I could find. I had no idea what I would do with it—I minored in Literature and French as back-ups—but I knew I couldn’t miss the opportunity.
I thought I loved the Bible before college.
I have a clear memory of sitting in the front row of my Old Testament Introduction class, oblivious to the students around me, leaning forward to catch my professor’s every word. He made the Bible come alive. He made us think deeply about it in ways I never had before. Later, in Genesis class, the same professor asked us to make 50 observations on one chapter each week, even when the chapter was only a genealogy. I found riches I never knew were there.
I needed it.
It was in college that I was away from my parents for the first time. I couldn’t rely solely on my parents’ faith anymore—I had to study the Bible for myself, not just read it as I had all my life. I needed to come to conclusions on my own, listening to more solid Christian commentary than just from my small home church. I began to wrestle with difficult passages I had always glossed over before.
It was in college that my legs gave way beneath me as I heard the news that my older sister had leukemia. During the subsequent year in which my sister was placed in a top-ranking hospital in the same city as my college, I needed that Bible. I clung to verses of God’s love and providence, like in Psalm 73: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (NASB).
I thought I loved the Bible during college.
Several years went by after college during which time I didn’t fall away from God, but my passion for studying His Word ebbed. My Bible was used but not studied. Then I started going to Bible study every week, and I caught the excitement of Bible teachers all over again. I did all I could to align my kids’ naps so I could have that time to spend in God’s Word.
I needed it.
It was in my kids’ younger years that I realized how selfish I was, how easy it was for me to lose my patience and my temper. God let me see how broken I was, and I memorized God’s words to encourage me through the many times I felt defeat. I focused on verses like, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord” (II Cor. 3:18, NASB). His words were life to me.
It was in my kids’ younger years that I found glimpses of Jesus in places least expected in the Old Testament. I dug in deep with renewed fervor and started to write a Bible study of my own. My desire through it was to kindle the passion in other women’s hearts. God had taken my love for the Bible to a new level.
I think I love the Bible now, but as I uncover layer after layer of beauty from Scripture, I hope God will only increase that love the longer I walk with Him. I hope I will someday be saying once again…I thought I loved the Bible then.
Do you have a love story with the Bible? If so, will you comment and give me an outline of it? I’d love to hear your story!