“Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law. . .Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statues, and I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding,, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it. . .My soul faints for Your salvation, but I hope in Your word. . . Oh, how I love Your law!” Psalms 119:18, 33-35, 81 and 97 (NKJV)
There is one great passion within the heart of this Bible teacher. No greater delight to me in all the years that I have been a teacher. I LOVE to put a copy of God’s Word, the Bible, into the hands of a child! I love to watch the expression on their face when I tell them, “That Bible is yours!” I love to teach them how to use their new Bible and watch as they make their first discovery within its pages. I love to tell them about God and His great love for them. And let them know that the more they read from the Bible, the more they will discover truths about a God who loves them very much.
One boy in particular, who I gave a Bible to recently, shared a priceless reaction with this aging teacher. First of all, it was his eyes. They grew so large and bright as I handed him his very own Bible. Those eyes danced within his head. For the longest time, he looked at the Bible and then at me. “For real?” he would say. “Yes! For real, its yours!” and he would repeat all over again. And again. I lost count of how many times that happened.
It was his smile. The biggest, broadest smile I had ever seen from a child. A smile that reflected his hearts delight. His smile filled with joy and had escaped from his heart and showed up on his face. His smile laughed as his feet would dance about the floor. His smile and laughter were contagious as soon others were looking on with wonderment.
It was his hands. He gently held that Bible within his hands, almost too afraid that he might cause it harm. “Its Yours!” I kept telling him. Finally, he drew in a deep breath and he held his Bible tightly to his chest. “All mine?” he said as if he still didn’t believe his teacher. “Do you know, Ms. Kathy how long I have wanted one of these? Are you sure it’s mine?” His little hands shook as he held that Bible closer to himself.
It was his posture as he sat down, right there on the floor. He crossed his legs. He carefully laid that Bible upon his lap. Very gently and very slowly, he opened the cover of his new bible. He read the words that his teacher wrote inside. He looked up at me with a “Are you sure?” question once more. I am certain that I saw a tear in his eyes. I know there were tears streaming down my cheeks as I tenderly watched this young boy.
It was his voice as he turned over a few pages of his brand new Bible and he began to read out loud. He looked up at me again. More smiles. More tears. He turned over a few more pages and read a little more out loud. He look up and…! It went on for what seemed like a really long time, although no one dared to stop him. It was just too precious to stop watching. He was discovering something new. Something that was about to change the whole course of this young boy’s life.
God’s Word has that effect on some people. They long to have a Bible of their own. They cannot wait to hold it within their hands. To sit down, open it up and begin to read. They wonder about the God who wrote the Bible. Wonder who He is, where He is, and what He is all about. Opening up a Bible is the first step to discovering all of that and so much more.
Since that day, my student has shared with me that he has been reading his Bible. He tries to read it every day. But “sometimes I miss it cuz I’m busy.” He shares with me things he is reading. He asks questions of things he doesn’t understand. He wants some help in learning to pronounce some of the names of people and places where Jesus is traveling. He is discovering how much different life was in Bible times compared to the life he is living today. He tells me that he is happy with his new Bible. It happens to be his “bestest present ever.” The most important thing is that he is learning about God!
It doesn’t matter where you are when you read the Bible. You can read it sitting at the table, curled up in a comfy chair, stretched out on your tummy, laying on the floor, or tucked under the covers as you lay in bed. A Bible can be read at home, in church, on the playground or high up in a tree house. You can read it anywhere and at anytime. Where you read the Bible is not as important as the fact that you simply spend some time to read it.
I introduced my student to the longest book in the Bible. Do you know which one that is? I also introduced him to the longest chapter within that book. Do you know which one that is?
Psalm 119. I encourage you, dear reader, to go grab a Bible of your own, find a comfortable place and have a good read. It’s all about God’s Word. My student read it through once. Asked a ton of questions. Got his answers from the teacher. Decided to read it again. This time he made a list. With his permission, I share this precious writing with you.
“Title of my List: Things I Get If I Read The Bible (from Psalm 119)
“And my favorite verse out of all of Psalm 119 just happens to be – “Are you ready for this?”
“…My heart stands in awe of Your word. I rejoice at Your word. As one who finds great treasure.” Psalms 119:161-162
So, how did this teacher react?
With tears streaming down my cheeks, and a heart that was about to burst with joy, I went to find my Bible. I held it firmly within my hands, while I sat down in my comfy chair. I curled my legs up underneath me and settled down in comfort. With awe and renewed wonder, I opened my Bible. Found Psalms 119. I smiled as I thought of my student and the blooming relationship between him and His God. My eyes focused on the words written on the page, and I began to read.
“I love Your word, O God!”