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 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 do not 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. However, by the time he got back to the house, all the water had leaked out of the basket. The grandfather laughed and said, “You will have to move a little faster next time,” and sent the boy back to the river with the basket to try again.
This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he reached the house. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket and that he would get a bucket instead.
The old man replied, “I do not want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You can do this. You are 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 leak out before he got very far. 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 is useless!”
“So you think it is useless?” the old man asked. “Look at the basket.”
The boy looked at the basket. “It is clean, Grandpa!” he exclaimed. “It is not dirty anymore.”
“Son, that is what happens when you read the Bible,” his grandfather replied. “You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, it will change you from the inside out.”
That is how God works in our lives. He changes us from the inside out and slowly transforms us into the image of His Son.