“God’s vast ocean of love cannot be measured or explained, but it can be experienced”. These words are from my morning devotional, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.
It struck me that the Bible is somewhat like that — the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. As in most things the greater the investment, the bigger the payback. And, here’s my favourite quote on the subject of unmeasurable things: “The Bible is a book that reads you, as your read it!” I believe it’s from my current Bible study by Daily Grace Co. This one blew my socks off… Because it describes my experience to a tee over the past 9 months.
Can you imagine a book that reads each one of us personally, in a uniquely different way, to suit each person’s circumstance?! How can that even happen? It’s a mystery indeed. And I know for sure that it does happen. It’s when you are led to the exact scripture that you need to hear and that it opens up your mind in a way that changes you. Or finding the answer to a problem you have been struggling with all week, only to see the answer clearly laid out in a reading. Or when you are feeling sad and lonely, and scripture reminds you that you are not alone, that God’s Spirit is right there with you, and in you, 24/7. and you immediately feel refreshed and calm.
Hmm… I wonder how many persons have read in the Bible since it became widely available… Say, in the last two centuries. I wonder how many people God has personally influenced and directed in this way. It gets you thinking, yes?
Speaking of big ideas… I wanted to show off my new V E R Y large colouring Bible. When I first started Bible Art Journaling, I considered buying Dayspring’s Illustrating Bible for it’s thicker pages and the extra wide 4″ blank margin space, designed for note-taking and art-making. It is a big bulky thing with a coil binding that also carries a steep price tag — about $100 US! But an interesting option all the same.
Because I had no idea how long I would be doing this new hobby, I decided instead to get just a section of the Bible, Psalms and Proverbs, in the same large format but not as thick, and at a more reasonable cost. I wanted to test the concept for myself before investing big money. And while I love the book I did get, especially the large space it offers for art journaling, I decided to forego the complete Bible because its font is much smaller than mine, too tiny for my comfortable reading. The publisher obviously made that choice in order to keep the book manageable in size. As it is, it measures 9 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ x 2″. At that time, this was the only Bible of its type on the market as far as I could tell.
Along came some competition — and the newest addition to my growing Bible arsenal. The Giant-Print Inspire Prayer Bible rivals the Illustrating Bible with an extra 2″ in length and thicker by 1/4″. And it, too, has those amazing 4″ margins for your writing and creative pleasure. It uses thinner paper, a high quality Bible paper, which I love. Oh my, how can I be so spoiled!
But it’s more than the biggest Bible ‘out there’, it’s also the biggest book of any sort on my bookshelf. And with a 12.6 point font, it is gorgeously readable! Weighing in at nearly 6 pounds, it is definitely one you want to use on a desk; I use a lap-table and sit in my lounging chair to colour while meditating on the Word of God in comfort. It is loads of relaxing, mindfulness enjoyment. And about 40 per cent cheaper than the first Bible I mentioned. And absolutely GORGEOUS!
Somehow, a book of this stature deserves a special name. Big Bertha is what I call my industrial sewing machine, so maybe Big Ben? Naw, this book doesn’t tell the time. Big Bible? An obvious choice, and sometimes simple is best. How about Betsy – the Giant Colouring Bible? There. Nailed it, since it is full of illustrations designed for colouring (in the style of an adult colouring book). Plus, there are a bunch of beautifully illustrated prayers done on vellum paper scattered throughout the 1600 pages. What a good choice.