I gave away my favorite Bible this morning… and by favorite, I mean favorite. I drove down to Fort Lewis (now called Joint Base Lewis McChord) to pray with a soldier and his wife who was having surgery to remove a tumor behind his ear. As we prayed, I asked his wife if she had a Bible with her to read while her husband was in 7+ hours of surgery. She said she didn’t. So I gave her my Bible. As I left Madigan Army Hospital, I got a little tearful. It’s not that I was having “giver’s remorse.” It was this… in that moment I was simply overcome by how much God has loved me, spoken to me, and guided me through that particular copy of His word. I’ve preached hundreds of sermons from that very Bible. Its margins are filled with a decade’s worth of notes, observations, and quotes. I’ve read, prayed, and journaled through book after book of that Bible. I’ve read story after story from its pages to my son. I’ve clung to it for dear life in some of my darkest days. Some of its pages are stained with my very tears.
Please hear me. There’s nothing sacred about that particular copy of the New American Standard Bible. I’ve never set up a little shrine in my office and burned candles to my black leather Bible. But there is something absolutely sacred and life-giving about God’s word. As I said “goodbye” to the couple and my favorite Bible, I realized how truly living and active God’s word is (Hebrews 4:12). I prayed that His words would jump off the page and into the heart of that young wife as her husband was under the knife.
As I returned to my office, I immediately went online in search of a new Bible. In a couple of days it will show up with clean, note-less margins. And once again, God will love me, speak to me, and guide me though His holy, beautiful, life-changing word. He will show me the power and glory of Jesus. He will call the Spirit to clearly illumine His heart for me, for my family, for my neighborhood, for our church, and for our world.
I’m looking forward to the new adventure…