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Learning to Love the Bible

The first time I held a Bible in my hand it felt really strange to me.  I knew the book was special but I didn't know how to use it.  I got invited to church with my aunt so my mom wanted  to make sure I was prepared.  As I got older and church became a normal part of our week, my Bible started to look and feel like it belonged to me.  The pages became more worn (some indication I was actually reading it), and I added stickers from my Sunday School class to the inside of my Bible bag.  Yeah, remember those?!  Some of you still rock a Bible bag and I know this because I do, too...it's leopard print and I don't care who knows it!  Should I have prefaced this story with "Church Nerd Alert!?"

I wish I could say it has always been this way.  There was a period of time growing up that I stopped reading my Bible and it began to feel really strange to me.  It began to look and feel like it belonged to someone else.   I would still show up to church but my Bible remained on a shelf.  My mom seemed to always make time to read her Bible and I didn't understand it.  She worked three jobs, took care of my dad who was in the early stages of liver cirrhosis and put dinner on the table every night.  I could barely get myself dressed.  I remember watching her.  I went with her to church gatherings or Bible studies and I saw her learn.  I am pretty sure I watched my mom fall in love with Jesus.  I think about the way my mom modeled reading her Bible and loving it because she loved the One who wrote it for her.

When I made the decision to open my Bible again I prayed.  I simply asked the Lord to help me understand what I was reading and how it was meant for me.  I tried to read the books in order from first to last.  I tried just reading through the passages of scripture that were mentioned on Sunday.  I wrote down what I understood and thought about what I didn't.  Though I usually tried to stay far away from any sort of structured group activity, I reluctantly joined a women's Bible study.  Truth be told, I was choosing to show up to a place I didn't think I would fit, until I realized that the beautifully diverse group of women set before me at the table were all just trying to find and follow Jesus together.  What a relief!!  I had a place to bring my questions and ask for prayer and when I shared what I was learning, I had friends to say Yes and Amen!

Bible study helped me develop a structure for studying scripture.  It created a bridge finally connecting me to the heart of God, the love of Jesus, the gift of the Holy Spirit.  No longer a stranger, I began to see that the Bible belonged to me.  It was written with me in mind.  The words on the pages tell of the most perfect love story--one that is unmatched and unchanged, given freely, with mercy and grace.  This is why my mom was able to read her Bible.  She stood on the promises of God in the pages of scripture, knowing that every time she turned a page she was being equipped, being filled with light driving out the dark, putting on the full Armor of God.  I think my mom was doing what Proverbs 4 says, specifically verses 10-13 stand out to me, and I am keeping these words close to my heart:
"Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.  I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.  When you walk, your steps will not be hampered: when you run, you will not stumble.  Hold on to instruction, do not let it go: guard it well, for it is your life."

Here are a few of my favorite things to help you along in reading your Bible (and learning to love it!).  Also, consider joining a small group here at The Desert Vineyard.  Keep drawing near even if it feels weird, uncomfortable, or unnatural. Keep pressing in.

At Desert Vineyard:
Women's Bible Study

Women’s resources (journals, Bible study guide) at Well-Watered Women

What I keep with me when I read:
  • Bible concordance App
  • Bible Highlighters
  • Sticky notes
  • Bible App (switch to different versions to help your understanding (NIV, ESV, CSB, etc)

1 Comment

Barbara Moscicki - February 9th, 2021 at 11:50am

Thank you Elena for sharing. It really encouraged me.



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