Growing up in small town Alberta, I had the privilege to live two doors from my paternal grandparents. I would need only knock on the door and walk in. Often, I would “catch’ them reading Scripture or singing from the Psalter. Their love for the Bible was contagious, and soon I was reading God’s Book as well. To this day, I am grateful for the example my grandparents set when it came to their love for the Bible.
Some 2700 years ago, Isaiah wrote,
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
The writers of Scripture speak of the power of God’s Word. God spoke, and the world came into existence (Genesis 1). Jesus spoke, and the seas were calmed instantly (Luke 8:24). This confidence extended to God’s written Word as well. The author of Hebrews says that the Word is “living and active” and has the ability to discern the “thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Paul believed that Scripture has the ability to “complete” us because it was “God breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).
Sixteen years ago, my boyhood love for God’s Word had sadly diminished. The example of my grandparents had been forgotten. Then, in the midst of a crisis, I was challenged to systematically and thoughtfully read the Bible with the simple intent to know God. At first, my pride got in the way. After all, I was seminary trained and was constantly preparing sermons and Bible Studies for the church. But thankfully, I humbled myself. I began to sit at the feet of Scripture to personally meet my God. I was not greeted with an instantaneous spiritual experience but instead I began to notice “little” changes. Joy where there had been grumpiness. Peace where there had been anxiety. Patience where too often there had been an impatience. It was like God’s Word was the rain that caused my hard ground to begin to sprout.
The Scriptures speak that God’s Word has such a power. If individuals, couples, families, and churches decide to wipe the dust off their Bibles and make a conscious effort to regularly and thoughtfully submit to God’s Word, the Spirit of God will bring life. The question is will we choose to “stand in the rain”?