By Mara Vetters

I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. (Psalm 119:14–16)

Have you ever loved a book so much you felt like you couldn’t put it down?

When I was in middle school, I absolutely loved to read. Any time I was left alone for more than five minutes, I would pull out a book and dive in. I read everything I could get my hands on, and during Sunday morning services, when my childhood self grew bored, the one book that I could always get my hands on was a Bible sitting in front of me in the pew.

I started out in the gospels, reading familiar stories with well-known characters. After that, I started flipping through my Bible for other familiar Sunday school stories. I had been hearing these stories my whole life, and yet, to my surprise, each tale revealed new details and layers that pulled me ever deeper.

I knew the adventures of Jesus’ disciples while He was with them, but Acts showed me the sequel as characters like Peter and John grew into bold leaders who engaged in breathtaking escapes. I knew little boy David who killed the giant, but the books of Samuel and books of Kings revealed not only his adult legacy, but also a long episodic story of family drama all around him.

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“I fell in love with a larger, realer, and more personal version of God than I had ever known.”

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Real People, Real Problems

These expanded stories were much more messy and raw at times than the tidy Sunday school version, but they also felt more powerful and more human. Here were real people wrestling with real problems. Each of them wrestled with these problems in a world where God was also real and engaged with them and their stories that bled through the narrative on every page.

My childhood self certainly didn’t understand everything I read, but I understood enough to look at my picture of God in a new light. As I read, I found myself falling in love not only with the individual stories, but with the larger narrative of sacrifice and redemption that they told together. Most of all, I fell in love with a larger, realer, and more personal version of God than I had ever known.

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“Here is God’s invitation for you to come and get to know Him better.”

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Different Approaches

There are a thousand different ways to structure Scripture intake. Read big chunks of text or small. Read, listen, or write a passage out by hand. Study intently or sit back and savor. Reread a favorite passage, or challenge yourself with a chapter that is outside of your comfort zone. A healthy diet of Scripture intake will include a decent amount of variety, and I have certainly seen my patterns change as I’ve grown.

No matter how I come to the Bible, however, I always want to remember that feeling that started it all, the delight and discovery of getting to know the Author of everything through the words of the Bible. Here is God’s invitation for you to come and get to know Him better. The only question is:

Are you going to take Him up on it?

Prayer

God, would you reveal yourself to me through Your Word? Would you help me to see You in these pages, not only to learn what You want to teach me, but also so that I can get to know You deeper and love You more? Please open my eyes and my ears, my mind and my heart, so that I would be open to what You want to say to me today.

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Mara Vetters is a conference ministerial candidate in the Wabash Conference. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University in physics.

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