“God if you only gave me the chance, I’ll do it right next time, I promise.” How many times have I said that and have never gotten the opportunity to test that thought?
This morning Ray took the Bible to church that he had gotten for his father about six months before his Dad passed away. It is a large-print NIV (New International Version) in like new condition, since it had been kept for sentimental reasons in its original box. His usual Bible is a small print New King James it is falling apart and he needs a new one.
Six years ago when adopting Mazie, I took on my trips to Philadelphia my New Scofield Reference Bible, New King James version, leather cover, given as a gift to me from my parents when I was about 15. My name is embossed on the cover and I have my verses highlighted, notes all through it. This Bible is one of my most important treasures on this earth.
Why all this talk about Bibles?? Well here goes…when the Bible itself is more important than what is in it, it can be a problem.
Back to six years ago…I was sleeping in the hospital during my visits with Mazie, since she was in the NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit) and they had dorm type rooms to stay in, some for women some for men (for the mommies and daddies of the precious little ones). I would stay there and spend lots of time holding and feeding her. But even so, there was time on my hands. This particular stay, in the middle of the night two young girls came in laughing and being a bit tipsy. The next morning the one apologized, telling me that she came in with her friend late and her little boy was in for his third heart surgery.
She was in her early twenties. She told me lots about her life over the next few days. She grew up in foster care, ran away at 16, was currently living in one room that she rented for herself and her boy. She had no transportation, no washer and drier. She wore the same clothes for three days and I gave her some of mine.
One day, I came in from another feeding time with Mazie and she asked me if I was a Christian. She had a friend once who was a Christian and she spent some time with that family. She said she noticed my Bible. She always wanted a New Scofield Reference Bible, New King James Version, with a leather cover. Now immediately the Holy Spirit began to urge me to give it to her, “you can always get another one, she could never afford one like this, GIVE IT TO HER.” But the other voice was stronger “Your parents gave this to you, your name is on it, all of your personal highlights, notes and bottom line, you love this Bible.” Well I loved that Bible more than I loved that girl and I went home with my Bible.
Stab…my conscience stabbed me the whole train ride home, and forever afterwards. On my next few visits to Mazie, I took my Bible looking for her to give it to her because it had lost its value to me, I almost didn’t want to read it, it became nothing. I promised God that if I was ever given a chance again to give I would give anything he asked, holding nothing back.
Fast forward six years. Ray and I and the family came to church with the choir’s entrance, we were late 🙂 As a result we couldn’t sit together and were scattered all through the church. Ray and I sat where we had never sat before. The pastor partway through the service asked us who brought their Bible, hands raised. Then he asked, “Does anyone need a Bible?” In the pew behind Ray, a woman said, “I need a different Bible I can’t read this one. I need a large print Bible, and please could it be NIV?” Ray looked at the Bible in his hand looked at me. I smiled and nodded my head. He told her, “Here you are.” And that was that!!
YEAH. This time feels so much better than last time. Got a second chance!!!
Matthew 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away.