Where do you go for advice?
Where do you look for answers when the way ahead is unclear?
There is a foundation for all of our wondering, a source for words when our hearts are empty, and a fullness for days drained of all life.
Image Copyright Carla Hanson, 2016
God has placed in our hands a treasure of immense worth that we sometimes take for granted. Here in America we have an excess of Bibles. But those in countries where the Word of God has been prohibited are willing to lay down their lives to obtain a copy written in their own languages. Why would they count it so valuable, when we seem almost embarrassed to admit to reading it in our culture?
God's Word is eternal and living and active.
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
How well I remember the first time that God gave me a specific verse to share with a friend. I was a 14 year old freshman, walking the halls of my small town high school, when one of my friends approached me in obvious distress. She felt she had been betrayed by one of her closest friends. She wanted desperately to take revenge somehow, but she paused to ask me what I thought she should do. I said I would pray for her, and went home that night with a heavy heart. I sat on my bed with the Bible open in front of me, and waited to see if God would make the answer clear. And when I used my new concordance in my new Study Bible, this verse seemed to jump off the pages:
Romans 12:19 (NIV) "Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord."
I knew that God had given me the answer to share with my friend. To my surprise, she listened to me! And, when she reconciled with her friend, I was the most surprised of all.
God had meant what He said! His Word held true!
I began an intense time of eagerly searching in my new Study Bible. Amazed that events in one book could parallel those in another, I saw that my childhood Sunday School teachers had been right: it is a GOOD thing to read the Bible, and to search through its pages, even to memorize key verses that need to find a resting place in my heart.
But more than 40 years later, I found the Word of God planted in my spirit in a way that I had not realized in all of my previous walking with Jesus.
I was in a foreign country, overcome with fear. I had no Bible with me, and no one to call for help, except my Lord. I closed my eyes, and in that instant I was shut in with Jesus. The events around me dimmed, and I heard Bible verses that I had memorized years earlier coming into my mind that fit the moment exactly, beginning with this:
Philippians 4:7 (NIV) "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
But God's Word is not dependent on my frail memory.
For as long as I sat with my eyes closed, one verse after another flooded my mind. I knew that many of these verses were not ones that I had purposely tried to memorize--No, these were living and active words that the Holy Spirit Himself was supplying for my need. And the fear that had threatened to stifle me? It vanished into the wind, replaced by that very peace spoken in the first verse. And I was supplied with unknown strength to continue my journey.
Where does all that leave me now, here in this Journey of Listening with Chronic Illness? Is there a place for my heart to rest in this season?
I asked those questions this week, and this is the verse that His Spirit led me to today:
Proverbs 1:5 (NIV) "let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance"
No matter how long we have been on this path of following Jesus, or how wise we may think we have grown in the process, He tells us to "listen and add to our learning," and to "get guidance." So I am continuing to LISTEN.
I have much to learn, and much to hear on this new path.
Would you like to join me in the way of learning? All of these verses that I post on my site are linked over to a wonderful Bible Study site, with amazing tools for searching and learning. And I am a member of their BloggerGrid Network.
This is Day 6 in my #31Days of Listening with Chronic Illness, for the #Write31Days Challenge. I am so honored that you are joining me!
I am linking today over with Suzie Eller at #LiveFreeThursday