Editor's Note: This is the testimony and life journey of a dear friend of mine and her personal experience in treasuring God's Word. Formerly a servant in the ministry of family discipleship, Stephanie Hills is now involved in the incredible work of Bible translation. This is the story of the journey God took her on to reach this point in her life and ministry. Though this isn't the style of posts I generally share, I felt that since So I Fix My Eyes... is centered around the Bible, this topic would be fitting. I pray that you are encouraged, inspired, and blessed by Stephanie Hills' story.
I remember when I first heard about the need for Bible translation. I was 14 when I learned that there are around 7,000 languages in the world, but only a few hundred of those languages actually have a complete Bible available in them. I realized then that the Bible that I hold in my hands, in my own language, is a gift—and one that not everyone has.
I walked away encouraged, though—recognizing that God is working to get His Word to the people who don’t have it yet.
After that day, I carried the need with me, praying for people without the Word—knowing that I wanted to start becoming part of this work. I went forward with a new awareness of the gift I’d been given. You and I have the opportunity to know God through His Word.
A couple years later, I finished my last couple years of high school by delving a bit deeper into the Word than I had before. When I signed up for the Bible Bee, I thought it would give me a structure and deadline to push me forward into studying Scripture, which it did. But, more than that God used that season to move truth from my head to my heart.
I had heard a lot about God growing up. But as I began spending more time in the Word, I started to learn what it meant to taste and see that He is good. I love these verses in 1 Peter 2, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby: if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
Time in the Word builds hunger for God. The Lord is lovable—and when we experience His grace through becoming friends with Him—we pretty much can’t help but love Him more. As I learned this truth, I was driven to open His Word for myself, getting to know Him like you do with any friend by spending time with Him, over a sustained period.
After graduating from college, God led me to serve with the same ministry He’d used to help root me in Him. Before I hopped in my little red car to move away and start the job, a verse in Matthew 6 sparked a vision in me: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Giving changes us! The truth is that what you invest in, is what you’ll grow to love. Over the course of a year, God built my heart through the opportunity to invest my life, my time, my energy, and my resources into the task of family discipleship.
How crazy is it that God invites us to work with Him?! He uses our investment in the work to change us—to cause us to care about the things He cares about—while He simultaneously meets the needs of the people around us.
Last fall, I started a new journey: serving in Bible translation. Every day that I participate in this work, I’m reminded that I have God’s Word in my language and that this is an incredible gift. Every day, I watch in awe as I see God doing the work of bringing His Word to the millions of people who are still waiting.
He’s using my time invested here to keep growing my heart for Him, for His Word, and for people—and I am so thankful. Because I am as much in need of Him and His grace today as I was yesterday.
I realize now that living generously is an opportunity: an opportunity that God gives us to meet the needs of others and also grow us in the process.
Knowing God is what we were made to do, and helping others get to know God is the generous life He has called us to.
What a multi-faceted work, done by a good and generous God. You and I are so blessed to have Bibles, to have the opportunity to know God through His Word. Every day I’m faced with the question, “What am I doing with what I’ve been given?” And I want to challenge others to ask themselves that question, too.
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