Although I grew up in a Christian home–walked an aisle and was baptized while still in kindergarten–I confess that I didn’t get the big fuss over the Bible. Reading it, I mean. Granted, it held interesting stories, but most of it was confusing to read. And so I didn’t, really.
Then one day, as grown-up me wrestled with how to really live a life in Christ, the Holy Spirit through Beth Moore challenged me to take God at His word. But to do that, I had to find out what His Word actually said! And so I opened the cover of my Bible–one I’d been studying for several years–and started reading. From Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. Took me less than three months. And I was hooked.
I kept reading, sometimes fast, sometimes more slowly. Sometimes straight through, sometimes jumping around. I began to truly understand and believe who God is, who He has always shown Himself to be. But the more I read, the more I also began to see myself on the pages. It started in little places, maybe every few day or every few weeks. Then I had certain stories and passages I knew I identified with. They were my “go to” places, the places I knew God would meet me in His Word. Because the more I got to know God, the more I wanted to see myself clearly so that I could walk in closer communion with Him.
But lately I’ve noticed a new trend happening as I read–I see myself not on occasion or in certain places. Now I see myself on every page. It’s like the more intimate I have become with the Word of God, and with God Himself, the more I recognize my own reality–my shortcomings, my failures, but even more importantly, God’s unmerited favor on my behalf, His unconditional love toward me.
Right now I’m reading in the early chapters of Exodus. I see myself in Jochabed, trying to do the right but hard thing and getting blessed in the process. I see myself in Miram, doing what she’s told, fearing a tragedy but receiving a triumph. Moses, in his utter lack of confidence in himself but his growing confidence in God. Aaron, in his willingness to be the mouthpiece without the mantle of the authoritative leader. The Israelites, crying out for release from slavery yet feeling betrayed when things turned worse before they turned better.
I love that the more I know of God, the more clearly I can see me. And the more clearly I see me, the more I long to live more closely to God. Round and round and round, until hopefully we are would up more tightly than a ball of string, unable to tell where one ends and another begins. At least that’s the goal, right? To see myself on the page and watch as the Lord transforms me into His very image.