A Reservoir of Grace
We had recently come back from two years of mission work in the Philippines. My husband had been asked to pastor our sending church. So I suddenly found myself in a leadership role as a pastor's wife with women coming to me for counseling. I had just turned thirty and had three young children—hardly the image of an older woman qualified to teach younger women!
But here I was one day meeting with a woman somewhat older than myself who needed help with her marriage and parenting. Toward the end of our conversation, she made a comment that struck me as odd, and I remember being somewhat taken aback and puzzled. My initial reaction recoiled at her words, and I wanted to protest. She said something like this: "I will never know the Bible like you do; you have so much wisdom."
To this day, I still want to object to those words. If you only knew how much I struggle! If you only knew how often I am confused and don't have a clue what to do. If you only knew! I KNOW how lacking in wisdom I am. I KNOW how much more of the Bible and from the Bible I have to learn. And I wanted to respond with something like this: "I have no special wisdom! And knowing the Bible is nothing you or anybody else can't have." In other words, there's nothing in me that makes my knowledge and understanding of the Bible unique.
Because everything in me wanted to reject and challenge those words, they sat on me and kept playing in my head. As I mulled over them, a very important truth began to dawn upon me. For the past two years that we had been overseas, I had set aside time each day to memorize one new verse of Scripture and review the ones I'd already learned. Two years of a verse a day is quite a few verses!
Then I looked back on my life and saw a consistent pattern. I could remember coming down for breakfast in the morning before school and seeing my dad on the couch in the family room reading his Bible. My mother seemed to know where every verse in the Bible was and could quote them; she was a walking concordance. As children we were enrolled each year in a Bible memory program, learning three to twelve verses a week, depending on our age level, for twelve weeks at a time.
Wisdom beyond my years? Depth of Bible knowledge? It wasn't something I was zapped with, it wasn't because I had some special intelligence or direct line to heaven, and it hadn't happened by accident. Like the slow, steady trickle of a mountain stream that gathers strength as it tumbles downward—enough, over time, to fill a huge reservoir that gives much-needed water and power to a thirsty, dark world—so God's Word had been filling my life. The filling was imperceptible to me; I hadn't even realized it until her comment that day. Oh, the power and beauty of the Word of God. Oh, the transforming effects of the Bible, day in, day out. It had filled my life with a Reservoir of Grace.