After C.S. Lewis’ wife passed away, he wrote a short book entitled A Grief Observed. With his typical style of simple, yet profound writing, Lewis explained how the loss of his wife affected him. He didn’t write the book simply as a form of catharsis or to draw attention to his own suffering (after all, he originally published the book under a pseudonym). He desired to help others who were going through grief as well. Yet on every page it is made clear that he missed her terribly.
One thing that Lewis points out is how it is impossible to capture the essence of someone. He explained that he could have a thousand photographs of his wife, yet none of them would be able to truly capture the beauty and nuance of her smile. The presence of the person is far more powerful and dynamic than what could be displayed on film.
Perhaps this is similar to what the author of Hebrews has in mind when he explains that “The word of God is alive and active” (Hebrews 4:12). He wants to make it clear that the bible is not composed of lifeless words on the page that will someday become outdated. Instead, the bible is a completely unique book that actually captures who God is. And the only way it does this is by being supernaturally alive.
What this means is that we can discover new and deeper truths about God every time we read the bible. Most books are only worth reading once. Truly extraordinary books can be reread a few times before becoming stale. But the word of God always remains profitable to read.
New believers often have an unquenchable desire to read God’s word. They are genuinely excited to learn more about the One they just placed their faith in. Unfortunately, it is far too common for those who have been Christians for a long time to view reading the bible as a chore. It is important to remember that you never outgrow your need to study the word of God.
May the idea that the word of God is alive and active inspire you spend more time reading the bible this week. Trust that during every second spent reading the bible the living word of God is transforming your life.