You could say I’m a word lover.
As an English major, literary nerd, and book enthusiast, I’ve always had a thing for words. I like reading them, writing them, defining them, stringing them together to convey a message, and my husband would probably include speaking them. All in all, I just like words. They’re impactful. They inspire. They cause change. They evoke emotion. Words have the power to either destroy or to build, and they have the power to give life.
I was listening to a Cambodian preacher give a sermon one summer morning while on a mission trip, and he talked about what it means to be a lover of God’s Word. He challenged us to think about if that’s what we were and I thought to myself, “Well yeah, I like reading my Bible.” He continued on to explain what being a lover of God’s Word really looks like, and it began to challenge me.
It’s more than being able to recite a verse at the drop of a hat or reading your Bible every day. It’s more than knowing the stories in the Bible and how you can apply them to your life. It’s even more than studying the Bible so you can teach it to children.
Being a lover of God’s Word means not only reading it to check it off your to-do list or just for guidance in a difficult situation but for actual enjoyment. For pleasure. For the intimate relationship with God that it brings. Just like a hot cup of tea on a cold day or a big piece of chocolate on a bad day, opening God’s Word can bring joy, peace, comfort, and contentment.
Since that morning in a Cambodian church, I’ve discovered a spiritual discipline called Lectio Divina, which means “divine or holy reading,” and it has revolutionized the way I read my Bible and has helped me become a true Word lover.
As a children’s ministry leader, I often read the Bible for the purpose of teaching it (which is important) but when that time of preparation was the ONLY time I was reading my Bible, something wasn’t right.
Lectio Divina doesn’t treat the Bible as merely a text to be studied but as the Word of God that is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). It combines God’s Word with prayers to bring us into a more intimate and vibrant relationship with Him, and this practice of talking with God about what He has written has allowed me to be more receptive of the things God wants me to learn. (Want to try it for yourself? I shared a printable all about it here!)
As I continue to develop these skills and continue to look for the life that God’s Word brings, I find that God reveals more and more of His character, His wisdom, and His creativity. It makes my day when God reveals connections or symbolisms in the Bible, and it brings me joy and satisfaction to delve into God’s story and explore the role I get to play in it. I get excited about reading God’s Word, even more excited about talking about it, and even more excited when I get to watch how the Word of God changes and transforms my life and the lives of those around me.
You could say I’m a Word lover.
Psst – Want to try Lectio Divina for yourself? Check out this printable – a step-by-step process for using Lectio Divina in your own quiet times.