Thursday, October 8, 2009
This Precious Book
My Bible is one of my most prized possessions and is never far from my side. The study Bible I use most has become worn and a little ragged. It has seen me through many times of questioning and pondering regarding life events. It has opened my eyes to the will and purpose of God in the lives of His weak humanity. In times when there were no ready answers, it has comforted me--held me firm--kept me strong. There is no other book like it.
I have often said that it was my father who gave me my love for the Word of God. At every opportunity he would say to me, "Let's see what the Word has to say about that.". No matter what my question or whatever the circumstance, Daddy pointed me to the Word---to the precious Book. It became my first line of defense in times of despair and my greatest source of comfort when my heart was hurting.
Though there were many times when I turned to the Bible, there is one particular situation that comes to mind the most. It was during the time following the death of my brother, Don. I grieved for him so deeply. I wanted him back and yearned for the sound of his voice, his way of making me feel everything was alright, and just his presence. Oh, my heart hurt so badly. I grieved from the depth of my soul for the first six months following his death. I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, couldn't do anything. Don was gone and life as I had known it would never be the same. God's Word came to my rescue at about three o'clock one morning. As usual, I had not been able to sleep. I paced the floor with tears streaming down my cheeks and great, heaving sobs rolling from my body. I needed my brother and he wasn't there. I sat down on the sofa and picked up my Bible. I held it in my hand and, from somewhere deep in the recesses of my spirit, it came to me that the comfort I needed was within its pages. I held my Bible in my hands and said this prayer, "God, if you don't give me something to hang on to, I am not going to make it. Please give me something. I need healing. Please help me.". I looked down at my Bible and just let if fall open randomly. In front of me was the following scripture from Proverbs 18:24: "...there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.". Oh, how my heart soared. I was instantly made aware of the fact that, no matter what the joy or the sorrow, God was with me. I knew how close my brother and I had been. He was always there for every joy and crisis of my life. If my God was closer than my brother had been, then He was there with me in the midst of all my sorrow, my pain, my loss, my grief.
I cannot tell you that my grief was instantly relieved. I cannot tell you that the yearning for my brother was at that moment taken away. What I can tell you is that I no longer felt alone. I knew, as I had never known before, that God was with me. His Word came to my rescue and became the turning point of my healing. Years later, while doing some research for a seminar I was teaching on "How To Study The Bible", I found the following poem. I copied it and placed it in the front of my Bible.
Something new and beautiful,
Each day within God's Word
I find if I but search until
My listening heart is stirred.
Sweet and precious promises
Unfold with fragrance new,
As saints who've tried and trusted them
Come marching into view.
Could I but reach out lovingly,
And in some way impart
A portion of this mine of gold
To every troubled heart.
This Book. This Book. This precious Book
Forever holds the key
To every door I'll need on earth
And to eternity.
Alice Hansche Mortenson
May we ever see the need for daily doses of God's Word in our lives. Oh, how well it knows us and meets us at every turning point of life. How good of God to place Himself within a Book that will, forever, keep us--lead us--guide us--direct us.
This precious Book---my favorite Book of all.