Not just any Bible...the Bible that Honey gave me...the Bible where he'd written some of the sweetest words he's ever written to me on the inside cover...the Bible I had used for 10+ years...the Bible that had seen me through 7 years of Bible Study Fellowship...and the first 3 years of this 5-year journey through the "Valley of Baca" (Psalm 84:6)...the Bible that had my "favorites" highlighted...underlined...and questions and notes in the margins...the Bible the Holy Spirit used to begin breaking me...unlearning me... remaking me. That Bible....
I don't know HOW I lost it. All I remember is that I had taken it to church...and then...it was gone. I'm sure I left it on the pew or in the bathroom...but...
For two years now...every single Sunday...I've checked every "lost-and-found" location in our church. I've looked on every pew and in every bathroom...more than once.
And, I've prayed about it...A LOT. I even refused to buy a new Bible because it felt like admitting that MY Bible wasn't coming back to me.
Until this Christmas....
When I received THIS Bible from my boys....
Well...yes...they did get a couple of hints...as in...
"HEY!...YOU SEE THIS BIBLE!!...
THIS IS WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS!!!"
(I learned a LONG TIME AGO that, when you live in a house filled with men, being subtle usually leads to disappointment...then pouting.)
You see...early this past December...after one less scouring of the church for MY Bible...I decided it was time. I had a long conversation with God about it. I confessed to Him that I really didn't understand WHY He hadn't seen fit to "help" MY Bible find its way back to me. But...I hope the reason is because it's found its way into the hands of someone who needed it more than me....And, I hope she (or he) will be encouraged by some of its highlightings and underlinings and notes in the margins...and not think too harshly of me for some of my questions. (I always felt like God could handle my questions....)
So...I said, "Goodbye" to my Bible.
And I cried. I felt like I was saying goodbye to a friend...a friend who had stuck with me during some of the hardest parts of my journey.
But it's time...time for "Goodbye"...time for "Hello"...about a lot of things.
You see...I'm beginning to realize that, in many ways, MY Bible had become an idol. And, I don't think that's what its Writer ever had in mind....
Here's my new Bible...my ancient but brand-spankin'-new Bible...for a brand-spankin'-New Year. It's pages unmarked...pristine...just waiting....
And...did I mention that it's a C.S. Lewis study Bible?...Well, it's not your typical study Bible, with tons of footnotes and commentary. BUT, it does include some of Lewis' writings that relate to the chapter you're reading. Here are the words its editors chose to include for Genesis 1 (about God's creation of the cosmos). As usual, Brother Clive unlocks my imagination and helps me see...hear...feel God's Song of Creation. Enjoy!
"In the darkness something was happening at last.
A voice had begun to sing.
It was very far away, and Digory found it hard to decide from what direction it was coming....
There were no words. There was hardly even a tune.
But...it was so beautiful he could hardly bear it....
Then two wonders happened at the same moment....
One was that the voice was suddenly joined by other voices, more voices than you could possibly count....
The second wonder was that the blackness overhead,
all at once, was blazing with stars....
The new stars and new voices
began at exactly the same time.
If you had seen and heard it...
you would have felt quite certain it was the stars themselves who were singing,
and that it was the First Voice, the deep one,
which had made them appear and made them sing....
And, as the beams shot across the land,
the travelers could see for the first time
what sort of place they were in....
The earth was of many colors...fresh, hot and vivid.
They made you feel excited;
until you saw the Singer himself,
and then you forgot everything else."
(from The Magician's Nephew)
God means what He says. What He says goes.
His powerful Word is as sharp as a surgeon's scalpel,
cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense,
laying us open to listen and obey.
Nothing and no one is impervious to God's Word.
We can't get away from it--no matter what.
Now that we know what we have--Jesus
(the Word who became flesh),
this great High Priest with ready access to God--
let's not let it slip through our fingers.
We don't have a priest out of touch with our reality.
He's been through weakness and testing,
He's experienced it all--all but the sin.
So let's walk right up to Him
and get what He is so ready to give.
Take the mercy, accept the help.
(Hebrews 4:12-16, The Message)