July 13, 2014 by Beth Hess
Alone with my thoughts at the water’s edge, it matters not that the skies are cloudy and the winds brisk. The sand is warm beneath me. The shells a collection of color and texture and detailed beauty. The water over my feet is cooler than I expected. The undertow stronger. The splashing up my calves comes as a surprise, too. But not an unwelcome one.
The beach is full of people on holiday. A new family documents baby’s first visit to the shore. Two women walk arm in arm with an elderly man. This visit, perhaps, his last. Here the fullness of life ebbs and flows with the tides.
And I think on the relentlessness of the waves. And the soaring of the pelicans. And the vastness of the grains of sand. And the irony of how the power of it all has the most amazing calming effect on my soul.
I think on how the wind and waves obey Him. And how, I, too, find it easier to hear Him with surf as the backdrop of our conversation.
No matter how many times I revisit this spot, I fall in love all over again. Familiar, but new. The same, but ever renewing itself.
It falls on me fresh. Every. Single. Time.
I am finding the same is true as I return to The Word.
I thought I knew a lot about the Bible. 40 years of Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, campus ministries, small group study, and hours spent in various sanctuaries in every town in which I’ve lived led me to that conclusion.
Start a verse, I can probably finish it. Find Psalms by flipping to the middle of the book? You betcha! Recite the books of the New Testament in order? Probably.
But my journey with Jesus through this Word of the Week project has opened my heart and my spirit to “old” verses in new ways. An often visited passage looks different in this season of my life. And I discover things I never new existed in these pages.
Turns out I did know a lot ABOUT the Bible. But, now, I’m truly seeking to know the Bible itself. Even more, the heart of the One whose story it is. The One whose grace is inked on every page.
And this reading, more times then not, is the difference between watching a romantic comedy and actually falling in love. Not. Even. Close.
Because until I let the waves of His words dance at my feet, splash my calves, and wash completely over my head, there is no KNOWING of the fullness of their life-giving powers. Their heart-penetrating quality. Their freshness. Their healing. Their life.
My child, pay attention to what I say.
Listen carefully to my words.
Don’t lose sight of them.
Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
for they bring life to those who find them,
and healing to their whole body. (Proverbs 4:20-22)
So I return here, too. To the Word. And visit as often as I can.
Because, it turns out: No matter how many times I revisit this spot, I fall in love all over again. Familiar, but new. The same, but ever renewing itself.
And I, too, become new.
I return each Sabbath for a fresh Word of the Week. For the God-breathed pages to come alive in a phrase or two on which to spend a 7-day feast. To meditate upon. To use as a jumping off point for whatever other words God would have me hear during the week. I would love for you to join the Word of the Week (WOW) discussion by adding your selected verse to the comments … or reflections on any scripture reading.
Linking with Unforced Rhythms — a wonderful community of writers who gather each Monday to share with you HERE.