It was spring. The snow was melting and forming puddles in the driveway, curling little trails toward the dip on the edge where it disappeared into the brown grass. Sunlight filtered off the muddied piles of leftover ice and warmed the skin on my face. But I couldn’t feel it.
Icy hardness still reigned in my heart, even after all this time. I was filled up tight with anger and frustration. Mornings would come and I would wake up crying. Afternoons passed and I would curl into a ball on the couch. Evenings would be soft and painful until I could escape to bed, where I lay quiet and fearful, muffling my sobs and letting my tears soak the pillow under my head. Spring held no joy that year.
Days came when I stood alone in the kitchen and spoke loud at the heavens. “God, where are you? I follow, I serve, I give. Yet, still, I hurt and hurt and hurt.”
Silence spun anger into my heart.
She wrote words to me that summer, while the grass grew tall and deep. Purple paper and a calligraphy pen, one torn and the other dipped in black, black ink. She said I was blessed and highly favored.
I laughed at the absurdity.
I knew the words of Scripture. Knew them well. Over and over I had read through the Bible, as a teenager, as a young adult. I had memorized and studied. Greek and Hebrew words were scrawled into the margins of my Bible.
I thought I knew His words so well, thought it high time He listened to a few of mine.
I left my Bible to gather dust on the corner of the desk and spoke my words into the blackness.
Summer slipped away and fall began. Orange and red leaves covered forest floors and I toughened and bit back my tears. But then as winter once more lifted her icy fingers, I knew I could not survive another season.
I peeled back the pages and began reading again.
The stories danced, the Word deepened. What I thought I knew so well seemed to change shape before my eyes. The book of Genesis, the story of creation and the foundation of Israel, turned into a narrative of heartbreak. Jeremiah, the tale of a weeping prophet, became the journal of a crying God. Job, that book full of depression and confusion, the one that went on and on and on… It became a window into my heart and God’s words from the heavens shook me to my core.
The Word of God never changes. Ever.
But I do.
My circumstances and experiences draw lines under words. They highlight thoughts and translate ideas.
To think that I could live today on what I knew from yesterday was a foolish and empty thought. Like manna, the Word is new every morning. We can only eat enough for today, this moment. Tomorrow we must return and dig deep again.
By the time I watched spring again, I had tasted spring in my heart. I felt the morning sun, bathed in rays of delight. She was right, you know, the one who penned those words on torn paper. Blessed and highly-favored. Me.
I laugh at the beautiful absurdity of it all.
If all my writings put together could do but one thing, I pray that it be this: You will open your Bible and start reading. Even if you’re confused. Even if you’re angry. Even if you don’t understand it. Because the Word builds up and builds up and builds up. And what makes no sense today, will painted pictures of redemption tomorrow.
Have you experienced this? How has your understanding of Scripture changed with your growth and experiences?