Suppose you were a mail order bride from another country. You dream about what kind of husband this foreign man will be as you take the boat across the ocean. When you first set your eyes on him, you’re disappointed. He’s ugly!
But the contract is signed and as he throws your bag on to the carriage, you have your first realization that, in fact, he’s a kind man and really wants the best for you. As you travel down the road getting to know each other, you see that he has a depth of wisdom and insight into life you have never encountered in any man before. As you hear his story, the struggles and pains he has experienced, you know that he can see into your soul and empathize with you in ways no one else has. As you meet his children, the offspring of his marriage to his former wife who died, you are impressed that they are obedient and respectful of their father. They love him, and for good reason.
You examine his home. It is not only functional, but has a certain beauty that takes you aback. It is situated on the perfect hill and the stream runs close by. The items he owns are unique and attract your attention. He is not careless about his life and has a wonderful sense of proportion and order in his home. It brings you peace.
This ugly man seems to change in front of your eyes, but soon you realize that it isn’t the man that is changing, but you. By the time the first year has past, you will vow that this is the most attractive and wonderful man you have ever known!
This little story is meant to illustrate the nature of serious Bible reading. I’ve experienced versions of this story many times. I commit to a book of the Bible. It seems austere and unknowable. It doesn’t have much beauty at first. But as I live with it, it becomes the most attractive of the books and far above the rows of other books in my library. It lives and becomes more attractive to me each day.
Don’t allow yourself to ever say, “I just can’t live with that man.” You will and you will be so happy you did.