I don’t know about you but I love my Bible. Twenty years ago when Jimmy first asked me to go to church with him I ran up to Wal-Mart and bought the standard King James Version. It was kind of tough deciphering exactly what it meant. But, it didn’t really matter at the time because I wasn’t going to really read it anyway. I just needed it because people who went to church carried one. I surely wasn’t going to be one of those sisters that showed up every time the doors were opened…
However, the Monday after I got saved I went straight to the small Christian bookstore in our community and told the ladies at the counter. “I just got saved and I need a Bible that’s gonna teach me what to do next.” I’ll never forget the look on their faces…and the shock at the price of a Bible. I mean I’d only paid $10.00 for the old one. Never the less, with a discount…I purchased a red, hard back NIV Life Application Bible.
I had a plan…I was going to read the New Testament first, then start at the front and read it all the way through. I devoured that thing…I couldn’t get enough! I remember Jimmy telling me, “Honey, its 2 o’clock in the morning…you need to turn that light off and go to sleep.” My response was always, “Just a minute, I am almost finished with this story.” And he would roll over and go back to sleep.
By 1995, that poor Bible was bedraggled. It had notes in the margins…well, pretty much any place that was free of the printed word. It was underlined, sometimes high lighted…it had sticky notes that marked my favorite passages. The inside pages had been taped repeatedly with masking and scotch tape. When I resorted to using duct tape on the outside…Jimmy told me to go get a new one…I just couldn’t do it. I took it with me back to that same Christian bookstore and purchased a cover.
By that time…I was no longer a stay-at-home mom. Jake had started school and I had gone back to work. The biggest adjustment was how to accomplish in just a couple hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the evening what had taken all day in the past to get done. One of the short cuts was to do laundry in the morning. So most mornings, I would fold laundry on the dining room table while reading my Bible and drinking my first cup of coffee. Every evening I would come home, get dinner started, and put away the clean clothes.
We had been experiencing an eary spring cold snap and for a couple of days Jimmy would build a fire at 4:30 before he left for work so we would be comfortable when we got up latter in the morning. It was one of the things that made me appreciate him. However, that all changed the morning of March 12. He called the office around 10:30 a rarity in itself…when I answered, I knew something was wrong. His first words were, “Did you leave the screen off the fireplace this morning when you left?” “No why?” I asked. He said, "Your mom just called and said the house was on fire." She was the dispatcher and lived just half a mile up the road. I rushed home and sure enough…the driveway and front yard was packed with fire trucks.
After the all clear, Jimmy and I went inside. One of the deacons from our church was the captain of the fire department and stayed with us as we walked through the steamy, sooty air surveying the damage…shocked…as the fire fighters and a few neighbors hunted for our poodle…waiting on the insurance adjuster…he said, “I thought you’d want this” and handed me my Bible.
What? I couldn’t believe it! I was standing right there looking at the dining room table, almost unrecognizable, charred like the long burned out logs from the fire place. While the table had burned, the Bible was not scorched, didn’t have a mark on it…the cloth cover didn’t even smell like smoke! I grabbed that Bible and hugged it tight to my chest and began crying.
While I've worn out several Bibles since then, I still have that red NIV...it sits in the shelves in our bedroom...a reminder... that in all things He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine....
Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joint and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”