It has been really exciting to share the good news about what’s happening in our lives at the moment. (If you missed all this…where ya been?) But I sometimes find at the moments when life feels the most like a whoosh…..swoosh…roller coaster, where everything is tilting around a curve while you’re looking for a new place to live in thirty days or less and waiting on a roaming potato to get out of the shop and trusting for the finances for plane tickets to head home for Christmas just a little early because you’re due in February… These are the moments where I either begin to find the One who’ll hold me together, or I begin to fall apart.
It’s been said that, “A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”*
A few weeks ago, this was my Bible…
The pages from Genesis 3 to Exodus 14 came completely out. It was a sad day.
I’ve had this Bible since early 2002. It’s a Woman’s Study Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers. It’s hardback, and it started out with a lovely yellow protective cover with blue flowers, which I eventually wore to pieces and had to discard. It has lots of good study notes, articles and charts, and lots of space in the margins, which I sure do like. But after years of constant use, travelling in suitcases and backpacks, and feeding my soul almost daily on three continents, it was beginning to wear thin. The fact that I kept love notes and reading plans inside probably didn’t help. I found that matching blue duck tape a few years ago and I reinforced the wearing-away spine. You might’ve thought it was ghetto, but I found it endearing. And helpful!
But finally a few weeks ago, when it became clear that the Bible wouldn’t last me much longer, and Genesis made an Exodus, I decided to write Thomas Nelson Publishers a note. I shared with them about what this Bible had meant to me. How it had spent time with me in several countries and time zones. How it was there when I first sensed God calling me to missions in Mexico, how it travelled with me to Africa for the first time, and when I moved to Scotland. I thanked them for their hard work in making it a great resource and study tool, and shared with them the sadness that it was “on its final chapter.” I asked if they might be able to donate another Bible to a missionary on a tight budget in South Africa. And I kid you not, within a day they’d kindly responded, and within forty-eight hours or so:
There is no Word like this Word! No good news like the Good News of Jesus! I have found joy and peace in no other place like I have in this place. And that Bible that fell apart, on countless occasions did hold me together.
Thank you very much, Thomas Nelson Publishers, for blessing me with a gift that gives like no other, in perfect timing. I hope that if I know what’s good for me, this good Word will begin to look worn in, in no time.
Well friends, what does the Word mean to you?
*Whether this quote is properly attributed to Spurgeon, Havner or someone else — I could not confirm at time of posting. If you know and would like to help us all out, I’d appreciate it.