I held the tattered and worn pages in my hands, not one page looked untouched or unstained. Drops of tears highlighted words, penciled in notes; it is worn with the signs of life and desperate hope. The binding is frayed and falling apart, held together only by clear tape and prayer.
My grandmother’s Bible marked more than a woman who knew the Word of God; it marked a woman who was anchored and rooted in something beyond herself. Her worn Bible is a testimony to her family of where her hope rested; not in herself, but in God.
A Bible that is worn with care and life is treasured by someone who knows they cannot sustain in this life without it.
Her Bible changed me; it reminded me of what is truly important. It is a gift that will give life to my family for generations. In her handwriting at the front of the Bible is one phrase that makes my eyes swell with tears; “This book is the true word of God – I Helen believe this!!” It’s a testament to our family, and it is a testament to the power of the Gospel.
The enemy has seeped into every area and set up camp in our lives, keeping us too busy and too blind. When we neglect God’s Word, we miss what God has gifted to us, a place to root ourselves.
The beauty of the Bible is that it is God’s Word; Holy, true and filled with the very breath of God. (2 Timothy 3:16)
The Scriptures are for us, for right now in our lives. For every season, struggle and minute of our day. His Word is power to our weakness, and life to our dry bones. It shows us incredible hope for our future, forgiveness of our sins. It breaks the bondage of the weariness we carry with us.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me, and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me, and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30, MSG)
God grants us perfect rest, rest in Him, rest in His Word and perfect truth. You see the peace is found in what Christ has done for us; we rest in our salvation. Opening God’s Word is the reminder we need, what sustains us in a desperate world. Just like my grandmothers, Bible reminded her even in the season she walked in the last months of her life.
I sat by her bedside and read to her from this shabby and worn Bible, I read the words of Psalm 23, and as the words dripped from my mouth, I could see her lips moving, eyes closed tightly and hands so frail clasped together; she mouthed every word. No sound crept from her mouth, but the wrinkles of her eyes and the single tear that fell were all I needed. She knew the hope she had, not because of who she was, but because of what God did in her.
How thankful we can be that we get to hold the inspired word of God in our hands. We can turn each page and allow it to breathe life into us. What will your Bible say to your family when you are no longer here to read it? Will it be a testament to where your hope was found? Will each page tell them a new story of what God has done in your life? Will it encourage someone else to pick up their Bible?
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