The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of
eastern West Virginia 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 anyway 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
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
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 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’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
“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