I had graduated from high school before I made a full out commitment to Jesus Christ. It was a time of wonder for me...discovering this God that I had learned about and now knew. I felt like I was seeing the world through entirely new eyes. I lived and breathed Jesus Christ in that way that the newly converted do. My mom came home one day with a pink Bible, the words "Holy Bible" printed in shocking pink metallic letters...a present for me she picked up in a grocery store. It was the most hideous thing you ever saw. I got teased alot about my "Hot Pink Bible". But I didn't care...it held the Word of God and that was all that mattered. Spiritually, I was falling head over heels in love with my Lord so that you just couldn't miss it...like my pink Bible.
My friend Kathy bought me my next Bible, one just like hers. It was a Thompson Chain Reference Bible, KJV leather bound edition, with my name engraved on. Kathy and I were inseperable, both growing in the Lord. People used to say that one Kathy without the other was like Aunt Jemimah pancakes without the syrup. And we used to sit, pouring over the study guides and maps and topics for hours and hours. I loved finding a verse and then following the trail of similar verses that were mapped out in the margins. I still have this Bible sans the cover. My husband had the same Bible but had lost his cover. One day I came home to find that he had taken my cover off and put it on his Bible without even asking. That felt like such a violation. You just don't do that to a person's Bible. I guess that kind of signifies our marriage and our spiritual relationship together. Beliefs may have been the same, but our practice of those beliefs were very, very different. Spiritually, this Bible led me to places and on quests that created a thirst in me that still remains unquenched.
The first Bible I ever bought for myself was a small, white Bible that I carried in my wedding. I bought one for me and a small, black one as a wedding gift for my husband. I had Ruth 1:16 engraved on both of them. The book of Ruth was just preached on yesterday at church. It made me sad. But that was my commitment. I have this Bible stored away with other like mementos and some day I will give them to my daughter. Spiritually, this Bible signified a commitment...for life...to love, honor, obey, and cherish. My vows were made first to my God and then to my husband.
Sometime before my daugher was born, or soon after, I got a Max Lucado Study Bible. This is the tattered and torn Bible I use today. The covers have been gone for a couple of years. The pages are underlined, notes written in margins signifying questions or answers to prayer or something that moved my heart. I jokingly say this Bible is like me....old and worn on the outside but has some good stuff on the inside. This Bible has been my comfort like an old easy arm chair or sweater... it just feels cozy. Every page holds a memory. This is the Bible that I was using when I really learned to spend daily time with the Lord, in prayer and study, in listening and seeking, in abiding and growing, in crying and being held. Of all my Bibles, this is my favorite. Spiritually, I was moving from Jesus being my Lord and Savior to my Lover. I will never get rid of this Bible.
Now, I am anxiously awaiting my new Bible purchased by a friend who loves me. I know it is a ESV and the print will be large enough for a person who has to rely on reading glasses. Other than that, I have no clue what it looks like. I am excited. I have never read the ESV before. I am anxious to look through it, to begin reading it, to study with it, to underline a verse on its fresh pages, to find those comfortable and special places God and I have shared within the newness of its covers, to hold it in my hands. Spiritually, God is taking me on a new adventure...this will be the Bible we use to get there. I can't wait to get started and to see what God has mapped out.
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11 ESV)