That Incredible Book

Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.
Matthew 22:29
 (NIV)

It was Sunday morning again and I was chiding myself for doing what I had told myself the last Sunday would not happen. I had gone the entire week without opening my Bible even once. When the pastor said to turn in my Bible to one of the books of prophecy tucked between Isaiah and Malachi in the Old Testament, I was sure all eyes were on me as I fumbled my way through the pages looking for the book he was referring to. I hoped no one could sense my embarassment over not being able to know immediately where the book was.

I was the daughter of parents who had been in ministry since before I had been born. The Word of God was given the highest place of honor in our home. My dad not only read the Scriptures to his children, but he asked thought-provoking questions about what we had just read to stimulate our minds and help us to grasp the meaning of the words. I was without excuse when it came to having role models in my parents in this area. But, if I were honest, I could not say that their passion for the Word was my passion. Frankly, I didn’t know how to get what they had. I knew that I had accepted God’s gift of salvation through Christ as a five-year-old, but as I entered adulthood, I knew that my maturity in the faith was not very deep.

I had always wanted to be married. I started writing the names of my future children in the pages of my girlhood diaries long before I carried a baby in my womb. God blessed me with a man whose value I continue to discover every day. But I soon realized that the ache I longed to be filled could not be filled by marriage. My soul had been lonely before I said “I do.” It remained lonely in the deepest part of me even after my wonderful husband and I started our life together.

I’m sure I’ll find what I’m looking for when I have children I thought. I had just had my second child when I dared to let myself acknowledge that being a mother was not going to fill the ache either. I had everything I had always thought would make me happy and yet I was absolutely the most miserable I had ever been. Having children made me realize how incredibly out of control I was. I was scared to death most of the time with fear dominating most of my thinking about all the “what if’s” that being a mommy brought to me.

I was bitter, worn-out, and so disillusioned with life. I was an angry person who would lash out ferociously against those I loved the most. I would immediately be filled with genuine sorrow over not being able to control my temper, but I was powerless to stop myself. It was on a bitterly cold winter day that I ran smack dab into grace.

On my family room floor, with no one to hear my soul’s cries of anguish, I came to the very end of myself. I had grown up knowing that Jesus was always with me and that He would come to me wherever I was. I realized I was desperate for a change. I was willing to do whatever it took to get out of the horror that life had become. Falteringly, without the eloquence I had heard on so many other people’s lips, I cried out, “Jesus!! Jesus, I cannot go on living like this anymore!! Help me!! If You are real, I must know it. I have seen Your power in my life. Please, please come to me.”

Immediately, I heard Him say to me, “Shawn, you must start reading my Word. That is where you are going to find Me. The ache you have is going to find relief in the pages of the Bible.”

Although I had heard those words before from countless sermons and youth group challenges, I had never had the ears to listen. From that day on, every time my children went down for their naps, I had a rendezvous with the God of the universe through the pages of my Bible. I approached the Word with much fear and hesitation at first. After all, I had tried to read before and so much was either boring or didn’t make sense. But something profound happened when I asked Him to teach me. He did. He never made me feel stupid.

I couldn’t get enough of Jesus. But the huge change started coming when I began memorizing Scripture. I would write out verses on notecards and take them everywhere with me. The Word of God started healing those raw, empty places in my soul. New life was breathed into me. God Himself was healing me.

Oh, girlfriends, how can we expect to find joy, peace, or answers for this complicated life we live anywhere else but in God’s Word? He has given us everything we need for life and godliness in the pages of His revealed Word. We live our lives in error because we do not know the Scriptures. Our Bibles are a beautiful, leather-bound decoration on our shelves or our bedside tables. We look for answers from Dr. Phil or Oprah. We think that a sermon on Sunday or Wednesday is enough to give us the power to deal with all the muck life throws at us.

My sweet sisters, our Bibles are not for people who have a degree in theology. They are for us! Those words on those pages are the actual living, breathing words of the Most High God. All we need to live the abundant life is found within its pages. If we lost everything in the whole world in the way of material possessions, but we had our Bibles, we would be the richest women on earth!

Grab that precious Book. See what God will do when we make His Word our most important treasure. He will meet with us and teach us Himself. I am living proof of that.

Jesus, You are the living, breathing Word. It is my life-breath to be able to spend time with You everyday. I have done life both ways--in my own strength and in Yours. Thank You for revealing Yourself to this aching soul of mine. You are the answer for the ache!