Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Craving The Pages of My Bible

I wrote this blog two years ago...the pages of my friend are still falling apart. The panic of sending it off to be rebound still causes my heart to beat fast. I pray that you too find a deep love for the Word of God. 
My main Bible is falling apart.  Just the other Sunday, during the pastor’s message, Ephesians through the “L” section of my concordance fell out into the floor.  It’s not too terribly embarrassing unless you sit on the front row like we do.  It’s a wonder that anyone in our pulpit can hold their concentration with us group of yahoos that sit in the front.  Nearly every week we manage to create some type of distraction.  But I digress.

I originally tried to rubber band my bible together.  That only worked for a few months.  Now I’m trying to decide if I should tape it together with clear packing tape.  I’ve got the tape at home, if I could just figure out how to effectively do it without tearing up the pages in the process.  And as I’m typing this post from the comfort of Misty’s chaise lounge chair she simply says, “Why don’t you just glue it?”  Ahem… had not thought of that in the midst of my panic.  You see, this is really like a Death Con Level 4 situation for me.

You may be thinking, just grab one of the other bibles you have laying around the house or just go buy another one.  I gasp at the thought.  I have twinges of anxiety when I think about putting this bible on the shelf and starting over with a new one.  This bible and I go way back.  We have been through a lot together.  It is my friend.  I have written, highlighted, underlined and put brackets around scripture after scripture.  We have traveled the country together.  I have learned so much about the Lord through the pages of this bible.  It has heard me say all kinds of things.  It has seen me cry, laugh and splash a bit of coffee on its pages.  The little bookmark ribbon may be severally frayed at the end, but it still does its job.  I am attached to this thick, amplified version of the bible – which has my name inscribed on the front.  To tell me to replace it with a new one is almost as devastating as telling me to replace one of my children with a new one.

There have been times in my life that I would go through a dry season and not really open my bible outside of the obligatory trip to church on Sunday.  It has been left on the shelf.  It has collected a thin coating of dust sitting beside my bed – because I was angry at its author.  Other times I was too busy to pick it up and read it.  Needless to say, I have neglected it at times.

But the deep outside always calls to the deep within… (Psalm 42:7)

The deep love and truth of God, His Living Spirit, His amazing presences always calls to those deep places within me that remembers His voice, His breath, His love, His presence.  Sometimes that call comes from the beauty of His creation or remembrance of the secret place.  Other times it comes through His voice calling to me from the pages of His word.  This calling…this stirring…is hard to resist when you know the One calling is your “Abba, Father!”  There literally have been times that I have craved the pages of my bible.  Physically craved them.  No bible app or bible website has ever been able to satisfy those cravings for me.  There is something intimate and life-giving about writing in and physically turning the pages of your bible.  I love looking up a scripture and finding that I had already left my mark on it.  There is no greater treasure than reading a word or comment that the Lord had already spoken to me about that scripture.  It makes the Word come alive.  It reminds me of lessons already learned or promises already spoken.  It takes me back to a time or place where a seed of truth was planted in my heart.  Or it might be something I don’t remember writing at all, and I simply live in the joy of rediscovering the word.

“…Your word has revived me and given me life.” Psalm 119:50 (AMP)

The Word of the Lord is that tangible part of our relationship with Him. It’s the part of Him that we can hold and see.  His voice rings loudly as we turn the pages and discover the treasures of Truth.  His word revives us and gives us life.  Psalm 119 often refers to the Word of God.  Take some time and read it.  Highlight, underline, circle, box-in, and add brackets…even dare to write beside it.  It’s a long chapter, so you might want to take your time.  But when you’re done there, move on to another chapter, and another and another.  Before long, you’ll crave the very pages of your new best friend.

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