Good morning! J has gone to take a nap; the dishes are done, the house is quiet. I glanced over to my left, and there was my bible, sitting patiently and waiting for me to open. It beckons quietly, like a longtime friend waiting to impart wisdom, comfort, joy. God's Word to me is like a well worn quilt that you cuddle up in on chilly evenings or just when you need comfort. It's wisdom is like a cup of tea on a quiet day. The path that Jesus wants us to follow, from becoming a Christian and beginning the race to finishing into heaven is clearly marked for those who want to see it. We only need open the pages of the most precious book, open our hearts in prayer and openness to listen to what God wants us to know. The bible is not a book that should be read through once and put back on the shelf, but rather read over and over, and over again.
I don't know the scriptures perhaps as well as you do, or I may know a little more than you. Wherever we are on our journey, we learn a little more each time we read. We talk with others about what we've read, we listen to lessons at bible study and worship, we pray about what we've learned. Then (hopefully) we apply that new knowledge in our lives, letting our lights shine by example as well as speaking the truth in love.
Today I read chapter 16 of the book of John. John is the only one of the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, those precious books each telling their own accounts yet the same account of the life of Jesus here on earth, that spends so much time recording the miracles that Jesus performed, and the words he imparted on the last of his days here.
In this chapter, again, he is speaking to his disciples, those eleven who would continue his ministry. He reiterates time and again that it is time for him to go. He must carry out The Father's plan and die, but it won't be a permanent death. They don't understand this yet because they haven't seen it. They are confused, saddened that their master is leaving. I don't even think they fully comprehend yet that he is going to die. But they will. And he tells them that they will be scattered because of all of this that is about to take place. He wants his followers to be ready for what is about to happen in their near future.
He compares the sorrow to a woman in labor in verse 21:
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
As mothers we know that to be true. There is much pain and tears while we are in labor. But once our child is born the tears are mixed with laughter, because our little one is finally in our arms for us to nurture and love and raise and enjoy. The pain of birth ceases to exist in our minds because it was all so worth it.
The last words Jesus speaks in this chapter also touch me, and I'll leave you today with these words:
32. Behold, the hour cometh, yeah, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone, and yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.
33. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
Isnt that so wonderful? Jesus has overcome the world. He was speaking to them of the troubles they would see as they would spread the gospel, and he was speaking to us as well. Life isn't always going to be easy. We will have travails in our lives, but it will be so worth it in the end.
Have a great day