By Amy at Make Me a Mary
Words. I'm in love with them, and I attribute this fondness to a mother who read to me before I could speak and to a father who bought me classics before I could understand.
So I grew up around more books than I knew what to do with, and nothing changed once I got out on my own. I went and filled up every last bookshelf in my home and ran out of room and then ventured into e-book territory and had to have a Kindle. In college I majored in English because I just didn't like anything else. I figured at least English majors get to read and write.
If you'd asked me as a child what the most important book in our home was, I would have said "the Bible" because I knew that was the correct answer. But the ugly truth is that although I loved to read, I didn't much like reading the Word of God. I had Sunday school teachers who were more than happy to tell me what it said, but to read it myself was a chore that I found ... well, boring.
So once I grew out of an oppressive obligation to learn my weekly memory verse, I bore the shame as a teen of not having the quiet times I knew I should. And then I became the wife and mom who tried to do it all better by reading lots and lots of devotionals.
Only, when I read all those amazing devotionals, I skipped right over the scriptures and moved straight onto the personal stories of the writers. And in doing so, I skipped over the only words that really matter
And then tragedy raged in and ripped me apart, and I stood confused and alone in the smoldering ruins of my life. And I looked around and had no earthly idea where to go next. I wasn't exactly equipped to face my uncertain future since I'd hidden very little of the Word in my heart.
But out of the ash heap, what did I reach for? Ironically, those life-giving Words I'd neglected my entire life, because there was nothing else to hold onto. Everything was different and suddenly I couldn't bear life without the steadfast, enduring Word of God.
And so that Book I'd taken for granted for so long, the bestselling Book of all time
, became my constant companion. I reached for it first thing each morning. I devoured its contents throughout the day. I carried it in my purse when I left the house. I even held it close to me in sleep each night.
I couldn't face the future without the promises of all things made new. I couldn't find peace without the reassurance that He's in control. I couldn't get a deep breath without inhaling those Words of Christ in red
. I couldn't be satisfied until I'd feasted on pages that gushed His endless, unfathomable Grace.
And in clinging to those precious Words, I found the Truth that turns everything around, no matter who you are or where you've been or what you've done or what you've lost
. And once you've truly tasted the Bread of Life, you can't get enough of Him.
This week I became aware of a new kind of poverty. I knew people were starving for food, but I'd never thought the fact that they don't have Bibles. They're hungry not just for bread, but for The Bread, and yet have no access to it in their native language.
And 66% of Christians rarely or never read their Bible? Lord, forgive me for ever taking Your Word for granted
I stumbled upon a website, OneVerse
(affiliated with Wycliffe Bible Translators
), whose mission is to see to it that every soul on earth has the Scriptures available to them in a language that speaks to their hearts. As I read the stories of those who've never ever held a Bible or heard the Gospel, and then when I imagined myself in such a place, my heart broke.
And I wondered, Where would I be without the Word of God? How could I face the aching of this life without His promises? What would my purpose be without a knowledge of His saving grace and the hope He offers for eternal life? What if I'd never, ever heard the Gospel?
Yet 353 million people have no access to Scripture translated into their native language. And that makes me want to do what I can to share my Bread and help end Bible poverty in my own small way.
I’ve learned that a person can have one verse translated for the small sacrifice of four or five Starbucks drinks in a month. So I'm totally in. Are you? Go ye therefore and teach all nations ...