June 5 - Psalm 119:165

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

“Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.”

I have had some serious dry spells over the years where I simply didn't take the time to read anything in Scripture. My journals have different notations about the great joy I found when I returned to the Bible. I would write that I had rediscovered a long, lost friend or that within the pages of my Bible I found peace again.

It was true each time I opened my Bible and began to dig through its pages again.

When I was in junior high, I received a treasure from my parents. In fact, if memory serves me, Mom made sure that each of us in her Sunday School class got a Living Bible. It was a paraphrase, but at that age, getting us to read anything like that was a success.  My Bible was my constant companion in those years. The pages are tattered and the colored highlights on the pages show the progression of my learning.  I collected favorite sayings and inscribed them on the flyleaf and on the blank pages at the back of the Bible, I wrote out passages from Scripture that meant something to me.

When I went to college, I knew it was time to grow up and move past the paraphrase. Mom and I went to Iowa City to a favorite bookstore and there was a brand new version of Scripture. It seemed perfect for me. The New International Version might be old hat to most of you, but that year, it was brand new. Night after night, I would lay on my bed with both of my Bibles side by side, making sure that I could find the passages that were important; highlighting those that needed to be remembered and making notes so that I could continue with my study.

A couple of years before Mom died, in my mid-twenties; I began looking for something that would help me learn. We landed on the Thompson Chain Reference Bible; we each purchased one and my lifelong friend was in my hands. I've attempted to move to other Bibles, but in the end, I return to this book. It’s been re-bound and there is a lot of tape on the pages.  Some of them are so fragile, I know they’ll require even more tape before long, but I can turn to a page, knowing exactly where the scripture verse lies on that page. I have enough triggers that have been placed on the pages throughout this Bible to help me find nearly anything.  There are notes from speakers I've heard and passages are highlighted and underlined to remind me of their importance for a lifetime and sometimes just for a portion of that lifetime.

There is great peace that I find within the pages of Scripture. It holds the history of humanity, the history of faith and it holds my history as well as my eternity.