Finding joy in words and in the Word

Fourteen-month-old Charlotte loves books. Left to her own devices, she can often be found flicking through a selection of children’s stories and doing a brilliant impression of someone who is reading every word, even if she has the book upside down. But one of her favourite activities, without a shadow of a doubt, is being read to by Mummy.

It doesn’t matter if Mummy has just read The Tiger Who Came to Tea* five times in quick succession, Charlotte is just as captivated by every word as she insists on having it read for a sixth time.

She loves to crawl over to the sofa with her book of choice, pull herself up to stand holding onto my knees and hand it to me. Then she likes to turn the pages as I read, often before I’ve actually go through all the words on the page in question.

Earlier we were doing just that for the fourth time with Guess How Much I Love You,* which Charlotte had decided was more important than concentrating on Zoom church, when it got me thinking.

I watched the look of joy and excitement on Charlotte’s face as I read to her and I realised that the look didn’t lessen with each reading. It was as if, each time I told her about the love Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare had for each other, she was discovering something new and exciting.

It made me think of the love God has for us, and how we can feel the joy and excitement of that love afresh every day, and maybe several times a day. And, as Charlotte turned the pages of the book, knowing that Mummy would willingly read it to her again and again, it reminded me that God never tires of telling us His truths, whether through our reading of the Bible or through the things He speaks to us and the things He shows us.

Even as Charlotte got ahead of herself and turned the pages before I’d finished them, I remembered how patient God is with His children, even when we try to get ahead of ourselves, and how He gently brings us back to where we need to be and shows us what we need to see in that moment.

There is much joy to be had opening a book with a little one and seeing their eyes light up at wonder of the story found within. But so much greater than the joy of a parent seeing their little one discover children’s stories is the joy God feels when He sees His children discover the wonderful truths of His Word in the Bible.

The Bible tells us, in Luke chapter 11, verse 28, that, “Blessed…are those who hear the word of God and keep it.” God’s Word is full of blessings that are available to us if, like an excited child, we will only turn the pages and explore.

Sarah Moore is the author of For the Love of Lentil, A journey of longing, loss and abundant grace, which tells the story of her experience of pregnancy and miscarriage. Copies of the book are available here.

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