The joys and thankfulness I feel ride up to heaven on a lilting breeze when I find words in the Bible that express my own loving gratitude to my God.
I cherish the words of the Bible as I cherish my husband's old love letters to me because I know that God personally sent His words to you and to me and to all people. God loves us and passionately wants us to know Him. The Bible reveals God's Real, intimate Self. The Bible also reveals how people over the centuries have prayed to God and understood their relationship to God and to His people and to all God created.
God doesn't change and people haven't changed. The Bible's words are as fresh and relevant today as they've ever been.
God inspired various individuals to first orally transmit and then write down these words because God wanted us fragile, limited human beings to know the truth about our Creator. God wanted us to know that the Real God is humble, Faithful Love, enduring Forgiveness and Mercy. We see God speaking those words over and over to us, starting with the Creation in Genesis, and especially in the Psalms and the Books of the Prophets in the Old Testament.
We also hear echoes of a "human" God in the Prophets, when God speaks as a betrayed Lover because the Hebrews have turned away from the Real God and are worshiping gods made of metal - gods made by humans. People still turn away from God today and worship gods made by humans - money and endless consumer goods and the heady addiction of power. We all need to listen to God's words of sorrow to prick our consciences so we turn back to Him whenever we begin to turn away, and value things more than God or God's people.
The Old Testament needs to be read in the Light of the New Testament, especially the Gospels. Jesus came to us, God in the Flesh, to explain Who God really is, personally and face to face, so there could be no mistakes in understanding. Little St. Therese of Lisieux read the Gospels more than any other part of the Bible because, she said, in Jesus' words and deeds she could see most clearly that God loves and forgives all people unconditionally, even sinners, tax collectors, lepers, and outsiders like the Samaritans and pagan Romans.
In Jesus, God even forgives His enemies as Jesus cries out on the cross "Father, forgive them, they don't know what they're doing!" In Jesus' resurrection and His words about going to prepare a dwelling place for us, we learn to hope: we learn that we are eternal beings who will rise from the dead. There will finally be no more separations, no more tears.
The Bible is alive with the Voice of our eternal God! A Voice that speaks to the heart of each one of us, whether we are joyful or sorrowing, ready to praise God or to beg forgiveness or to cry out for help. Once you find a passage that speaks to your soul, mark its place in your Bible, even memorize it. Those words were written to you, as personally and intimately as a love letter. Pray over just a few of those words every day, and respond to them. Then God will know you listen to Him, that you take to heart the Words He sent you - from His Heart!
"When I found Your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart, because I bore Your Name, O Lord God of hosts." (Jeremiah 15: 16.)