When my grandfather passed away in 2013, there was one thing my siblings and I all asked to have...his Bible. The man was an incredible business owner with four decades of experience in real estate. He had no shortage of possessions to leave behind for us, but the one thing we all wanted was his Bible. What a testament to his character! There is something so precious about being connected to him through the Word of God. His greatest legacy and gift to us was his unshakable faith.
As I sat in the calm, quiet stillness of my family room this morning while my family slept, my grandfather’s favorite Bible verse started to work its way into the rhythm of my thoughts, and it wasn’t long before I felt compelled to stop my own study to read the familiar verse. Except I didn’t want to just read it in my Bible, I wanted to read it in his.
So I moved from my spot on the couch and sat in the floor by our bookshelf that stores this family treasure. There I flipped through the worn pages of his Bible until I found those precious, familiar words. Words he had marked, underlined circled and repeated to me a thousand times growing up. As I sat there, I wondered what made that particular passage so precious to him. In what part of his spiritual journey did those words become the breath of hope that sustained him? In what season of his life did those words give him the the strength he needed to face another day, another storm?
Then it hit me, what story does my Bible tell about me? Obviously, my story will never literally appear alongside our heroes of the faith like Adam, Abraham, David, Jeremiah, or Paul. But what if tucked inside the pages of scripture, those holding my Bible could find my story?
Will the well-worn pages tell them about all the mornings spent quietly in prayer before the rush of the day began or the sleepless nights when only the presence of the Lord could bring peace to a weary soul?
Will tear-stained pages tell the story of brokenhearted moments as well as times of overwhelming joy?
Will the intimate and tender instruction from a Heavenly Father to His beloved daughter be apparent simply by reading the passages that are circled and underlined?
Will my story of spiritual growth be evident by stringing together the dates and notes scribbled in the margins of my Bible?
Will they know what brought me hope, peace, joy, and comfort by flipping through the chapters?
Will I have lived a life worth imitating?
When I think of my grandfather, I often recall his favorite verse, but more often than anything, I am reminded of Hebrews 12:1
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
My grandfather’s favorite verse is precious to me because I know that it sustained him through difficult seasons of growth and pain. And because of his example, I know that I too can find comfort and hope on this side of glory.
My prayer is that in the same way, my Bible will tell a story of faithful endurance, daily surrender, constant hope, and love never ending.