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Location: Para, Brazil

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Bible and the Coal Basket

The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains
of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning,
Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading from his old
worn-out Bible. His grandson, who wanted to be just like him,
tried to imitate him in any way he could.

One day the grandson asked, "Papa, I try to read the Bible just
like you but I don't understand it, and what I do understand
I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading
the Bible do?" The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal
in the stove and said, "Take this coal basket down to the river
and bring back a basket of water."

The boy did as he was told, even though all the water leaked out
before he could get back to the house. The grandfather laughed
and said, "You will have to move a little faster next time," and
sent him back to the river with the basket to try again. This time
the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he
returned home.

Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was "impossible to
carry water in a basket," and he went to get a bucket instead.
The old man said, "I don't want a bucket of water; I want a basket
of water. You can do this. You're just not trying hard enough," and
he went out the door to watch the boy try again.

At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to
show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the
water would leakout before he got far at all. The boy scooped the
water and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket
was again empty.

Out of breath, he said, "See Papa, it's useless!" "So you think
it is useless?" The old man said, "Look at the basket." The boy
looked at the basket and for the first time he realized that the
basket looked different. Instead of a dirty old coal basket, it
was clean.

"Son, that's what happens when you read the Bible. You might not
understand or remember everything, but when you read it, it will
change you from the inside out. That is the work of God in our
lives. To change us from the inside out and to slowly transform
us into the image of His son.

Take time to read a portion of God's word each day."