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…
Would you like a closer look at what’s happening on the left edge there?
The Duck Tape worked for a few years but then a few weeks ago…
As the Bear recently learned to say if he drops something or a bedroom shoe slips off as he climbs onto the couch … “Oh Nooh!”
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:
HOW this got from Tennessee to South Africa so quickly, I do not know.
But a shiny new Second Edition Woman’s Study Bible was on my kitchen counter.
And I am very happy to have a new Bible to wear out!
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.
Hello from Switzerland – I loved reading this blog about your Bible, and how the kind folks at Thomas Nelson met the need, so quickly – what a blessing. Blessings to you and your family. I pray you find a new place to live very soon.
Wow the folks at Thomas Nelson are amazing! Loved this post. My Bible is in a similar state, but can’t bear to even consider getting another – it has been to so many places with me (but my Genesis has not made it’s Exodus yet 🙂 Good luck for the move! N
Hope you don’t mind but sent a link to a blogging friend who works for Thomas Nelson in Nashville. This is incredible, and so glad you have a new bible to wear out!
This story is so touching, it made me cry. I’m ashamed to say I’ve never worn out a bible. Maybe I’ll start that today! Thanks for sharing.
That is fantastic. I know a few of the folks at Thomas Nelson and they’re good people…reading this didn’t surprise me. It’s encouraging to know there’s still good people out there! 🙂
I hope the new Bible blesses you as much as the old one.
Oh, my dear friend, I am with you! Just Wednesday I showed my Bible to a friend of mine. It’s spine is so worn out that I taped it back together again with clear shipping tape. The pages are all falling out, and wrinkled from where I’ve spilled drinks and shed tears on them. It’s the Bible I got during Cyrsalis (AC10!) when I was a teenager and is signed in the front by all the folks from our UMC. I treasure it so much.
The friend confessed she didn’t have her own Bible, so I pulled out one of my extras and handed it to her immediately. I hope she’ll treasure it as much as you have loved yours. How generous of them to send you a new one! Love you, C!
OH MY WORD!! Seriously wishing I was wearing the water proof mascara this morning. Sooo beautiful a story. I want to ((hug)) Thomas Nelson. LOVE LOVE LOVE this story. Thank you for sharing it with us!!
This is the best story about a bible ever! I love that you and God have shared this together through the worn and tattered pages of His word … so beautiful 🙂
Thank you so much for writing this post. As a member of the Thomas Nelson team, it is so encouraging to know that we are taking part in bringing the Word to life. Let me know if there is every anything we can do for you. Or when you are ready for a new Bible! But hopefully this one will be with you for awhile.
Wow! I loved this post! I love how loved your Bible looked. And I love that you are on a journey to wear a new one out!
I know what you mean! I’ve had to replace several Bibles, but I am always sad to do so because I’ve written so much of “God and me” all over the margins. I blogged a little bit about that at http://grandmaslettersfromafrica.blogspot.com/2010/06/if-your-bible-could-talk-what-would-it.html.
I look forward to getting better acquainted with you–it appears we have several things in common. Bless you!
I love this post so much. God’s Word is everything to me and seeing someone else love the Word as you so obviously do is such a blessing! Thank you for sharing!
Beautiful post! There is nothing greater than drinking a tall glass of livng water from the living well of God! Your well worn Bible is beautiful!
This post was very touching. I JUST bought a new study Bible from Thomas Nelson Publishing the other day. It is a Chronological NKJ. I have to admit that after wearing out my childhood Bible (that I got when I was 6), I have since accumulated so many different kinds of Bibles that none of them are particularly worn, yet, except for one of my tiny ones that I used for daily reading. But, I love to see a book that has been clearly read and re-read. It has such character.
Love this! My Bible (hardback Life Applications) is on its last leg, too… kind of want to replace it with one from Thomas Nelson Publishers now!!! I like the sounds of this women’s Bible you’ve been using. 🙂
Sweet story. 🙂
caroline- you are amazing. 🙂 you are like my ideal self.
So glad you guys were encouraged and blessed by this post. It certainly was a very big blessing to me! I didn’t mean to make anybody cry… 😉 xCC