I say vindicated because this was an affront not only to me as God’s child, but also, by extension, to God Himself. As my Father, He is responsible for me. As my Father, He protects me. I’m sure Satan’s ploy in all of this was much, much more sinister than anything he may have achieved in this battle. But God won. From the very first day, God had the victory. God knew what this season was going to teach me. He knew how its fiery flames would burn away all the dross and useless things in my life. He watched intently as I once again became clay in His hands. He intricately molded me in every step. Some days He had to throw me back into a clump and begin again. He is perfecting His work even now, as He begins to introduce a new season ahead, as He clears my mind of pain and fills it anew with His Word.
But all this began long before the extensive days of refining began. I was reminded of this beginning tonight as I sat down for Bible study. Beth Moore was writing about her coffee and her Bible. She said, “I like my coffee strong and my Bible study stronger.” As an avid coffee drinker, I related. Then she said, “Glance over at your Bible.”
Those that have known me since I began college know that I am basically addicted to the ESV Journaling Bible. The margins are extra wide and lined. I’ve burned through (literally, they are falling apart) two copies. Both a deep pink with an elastic band to keep them closed and highlighted to kingdom come. I’ve walked through my summer prior to and all of senior year in high school, plus 2.5 years of college in those pages. They’ve been all over the world with me. They, along with my prayer journals, will forever be stored in a box that says, “In case of fire, SAVE THESE.” Seriously, though.
I went through the entire Bible via a reading plan in the latter of those two last year (2011), but never thought about changing Bibles as the year drew to a close. As I got frustrated with being unclear about what to study in 2012 though, God took me to Lifeway. And I was browsing the clearance section and here was this little guy, marked almost 1/2 off the retail price. I picked it up, marveled at the price, walked around for a few minutes, then placed it back on the shelf. I did this several times before giving up, picking it back up, and walking to the register. Purchasing a new Bible is always tough for me. The first time I had to get a new journaling Bible, it was literally because the binding was cracking apart. Still, I knew that this was the right thing to do. Even if it wasn’t my usual deep pink with the elastic band to keep it closed…
Beth Moore continues, “Think what you’ve been through with God in those pages…Think of the hope, guidance, assurance, and affection you’ve sought. Think how thankful you are that God wrote something you can hold to your chest, rocking back and forth, when your heart is shattered and your sight to blurred to read…”
I began to think back along this year of what God has led me through in these not-yet-worn pages.
I watched Passion online, and the first time I took notes in this new Bible, was when Louie, Beth, Lecrae, Francis Chan and John Piper simply read the book of Ephesians and let the Word speak for itself.
I read about half of Mark while doing a study only halfheartedly, because I was just really messed up and confused by all the craziness that my life was at that point.
I slowly and steadily made my way across the pages of the Psalms, the first part of the Word I was ever drawn to growing up, the first words that truly brought peace and hope to my ravaged soul.
I once again filled the few pages of Ruth with truth after truth from a Mark Driscoll sermon series.
I painstakingly made my way through the book of Job, as I related more deeply to a character than I ever thought possible.
I found hope in the darkness and in the waiting as I listened to the minor prophets speak not just to their audience, but to me.
And I’m finding courage and God-given destiny as I wade through the days of Esther, even tonight.
I found myself in those pages. I am finding who I am being molded into. Jesus. Always. Forever. Jesus.
You see, He didn’t give me a plan. He didn’t give me a formula for good quiet times. He gave me Himself and said, Are you going to seek me? We can’t physically seek Him as His disciples were able to while He was on this earth. But we have His Words. And they aren’t all in red letters. They’re all over it. We need these words. I’ve seen it more clearly this year than ever before. We need these words because we need Him. Oh how we need Him.
So, glance over at your own Bible. What do you see? Whom do you seek?