Friday, April 23, 2021

 The Eternal Living Word of God 

"Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven."
Psalm 119:89 

"But the word of the Lord endures forever"
I Peter 1:25 

When I was a child I loved the book Anne of Green Gables.  I lost count of how many times
I read it.  The most moving part of the book that always brought me to tears in sympathy for poor Anne was the part of the book where she longed for a dress with puffed sleeves. 
She begged and pleaded, but Marilla was unmovable, her cold 'no' so hurtful to Anne.  Finally, Matthew secretly arranged for to have a dress made for her with puffed sleeves and OHH !!  JOY !!  FINALLY, Anne's heart longing was satisfied and she got her puffed sleeves !  
Just because .. I decided to reread the book some years ago.  I was shocked.   The 'main' part of the book was reduced to a few sentences on a couple of pages?  I would have believed the book was an  edited edition  if it wasn't an old copy I was holding in my hand.  How could these few sentences have made such a mountain in my emotions and memory ?

In the early years of my marriage, my husband and I watched the movie "The Birds".  It was terrifying beyond any terror I had ever felt.  I had nightmares for weeks afterwards and jumped whenever I heard a flock of birds outside.    
Years later,  I suggested to my husband that , just for fun, we watch the movie again.   We did, but something had happened to the movie !   It wasn't scary at all - in fact the effects were so contrived and fake that we laughed and laughed throughout the movie .. How could it have struck such terror into my heart the first time I  watched it?

Recently, my sister reminded me of a book we had both read in the early '80's .  It was a best seller at the time  called "This Present Darkness" by Frank Peretti.  For both of us, it was a life-changing book - the kind you never forget !  She expressed the desire to read it again.  I told her I had a copy she was welcome to borrow.   Before I had opportunity to give her the book, I thought I might as well re-read it as well.   I started it thinking it would grab me as I remember it grabbed me the first time I read it years earlier.  I had to force myself to keep reading but gave up after I was about 1/3 through.  It didn't grab me at all.  In fact, I wondered what in the book had seemed so deep and spiritually enlightening?   It seemed kind of silly now, almost.   I did not say anything to my sister when I gave her the book. 
She returned it yesterday and I asked her... "Did you read it all the way through?"   "No", she admitted. 
She said she forced herself to keep reading thinking it would get better, but finally she gave up about 3/4 of the way through.   We agreed that whatever had so impacted us the first time we read it was gone. The book now left us cold and critical of the error and inconsistencies in the book.   

As I considered this and linked the above 3 experiences, I realized something.   
Times change, people change. At different times in our life things speak to us and we interpret them through the circumstances that define our space at the time.  
Even in our spiritual walk, God can use certain books  and speak to us through them.   Yet, we go on, past those check points in our spiritual life. We mature... Our understanding grows.   
Considering the above, I had a flash of insight.  
The Bible is thousands of years old, it has been read and reread by millions and millions of people.   Yet... it never gets old, it never loses its power to impact and change lives, it never loses the living truth expressed and expounded on every page.  The main Character, Jesus, never changes, His message never changes,  His purposes never become trite or out of date, every word is eternally true!  Every time I open it, it is fresh and relevant and speaks the truth and guidance that I need for the day. .  

I had never quite put it together in the same way before - that the fact the Bible is unchanging in its power to impact is an undeniable proof that the Bible truly is the Word of God -- so much more than an ordinary book.