At the end of our street is a public beach access point to the Chesapeake Bay. So, when we moved to town, we immediately went to scope it out. Now, you need to know: it was the end of January—cold, windy, and damp. And we had come from the white sands, turquoise water, and perfect temperature of the Florida gulf coast. Our new beach was the exact opposite. I was appalled by the dirty brown sand, the trash cans leaning precariously close to the dunes, zero waves, and the litter. I remember thinking: this is not a real beach.
Well, that summer, we visited this ‘fake’ beach several times a week. With four children who couldn’t swim, I wasn’t sure how I would manage. But because there were no waves at the Bay, I was able to watch them play from the sand without fear. Our beach days were peaceful, free, and—surprisingly—fun.
It’s humbling to think back on that bitterly cold day when I stood on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay for the first time. I was so wrong. We’ve worn out the path through the sand dunes for the past seven summers. We tell everyone about our beloved spot. Our friends join us for beach days, and we can’t wait for school to be out so we can start our summer routine again.
Wouldn’t you know, the fake dirty beach is one of my favorite places in the world.
What changed? Well, time, yes. But also my perspective. Nothing would convince me of the beach’s beauty if I stayed at home, dreaming of a week-long vacation at some other ‘real’ beach. I needed to experience it. Through a willingness to give it a try, I saw our beach’s beauty and my skepticism turned to delight.
The same can happen with God’s Word.
We hear people say that consistent and meaningful Bible reading is crucial for the Christian life. Yet, many Christians are skeptical about whether or not the Bible can actually do something in our lives. Perhaps you struggle to believe God’s Word is necessary for your growth in Christ. Maybe you resist the Bible because you think it can’t possibly satisfy your hungry soul.
If this is true of you, then I want to invite you set aside your resistance and come closer to Jesus through his Word. Walk over the dunes, step into the sand, and dip your toes in the water. Bask in the warmth of the sun and allow the Spirit to kiss your soul with his truth. Be willing to give God’s Word a try. If you do, I believe you will experience beauty, wonder, and majesty in ways you never would have imagined. You won’t just experience words on a page. You will encounter the glory of Christ.
One thing I find so helpful in my approach to God’s Word, is to remember Jesus’ words in John 17. He was praying to the Father on behalf of his disciples, but also for all who would belong to him. In John 17:17, Jesus said, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” If the Son of God prayed for his Word to sanctify us, then we can be confident he will use it in our lives to do just that.
What might happen if we humbly came to God and joined in this prayer? When we cry out, “Lord, sanctify me with your truth,” I believe God will answer our prayers. In fact, I know he will because he’s answered it in my own life. Not with crossed arms, tilted head, and a finger wagging at us for all the times we resisted him. He meets us with an open invitation to come and receive what we need for our spiritual growth from him through his Word.
Just as I had to take my stubborn heart and sit on the beach to experience its beauty, so too we must sit in the Word of God and allow its power to soften our stubborn souls.
God gives grace to the humble. So when we embrace a posture of humility, we will stand in awe of God’s Word, and we will grow to rely upon it in our daily lives.
God’s Word is powerful enough to change us. May we trust him.