Let It Go – Part 2

5 May

 

Study BibleI have a favorite study Bible – the Hebrew/Greek Key Word Study Bible, edited by Spiros Zodhiates. I was first introduced to it when the hubster purchased one at our local Christian bookstore. It combines key words in a text with the corresponding Strong’s Concordance number and will give a bit more commentary on what that word means and perhaps its usage back in the day. This study Bible is perfect for me since I love to find out meanings of words when I study a passage.  It even gives some user friendly indicators on the tense of verbs that open more of the riches to be found in God’s Word.

Our first version of this great tool was King James, then Rock was given a very nice New American Standard, which is our “standard” translation at the Hails’ home. My dad, who loved God’s Word, decided to buy one that he could use. His purchase was more a hard paperback version, not the leather one Rock owned. When he passed away, I was given his Bible where he’d carefully written his name and address on the front cover in case it was lost.

I tell you all of this to say that I treasured that Bible – not just because it was God’s Word, but it was my go to study Bible, AND it belonged to my dad. It was one of the few things I had of his that made me feel connected to him somehow. This Bible was such a great study tool. God showed me many things through using it. But having the Book he loved so much was a privilege.

Then I. lost. it. Not just “misplaced” lost, but “absent mindedly left it where I would not get it back” lost. I had forgotten it once before at a women’s retreat, but it was found, and I picked it up. This time, however, I left it either at an event arena or worse yet, on top of my car as I was juggling several things to get in after the event. I called the venue multiple times, but to no avail. They had not found it and no one had turned it in. I even begged to come there and look for myself in their lost and found, but was told I couldn’t. I called the office where my parents had once lived (the address he’d written inside), but no one had mailed it there. The Bible was gone, and I was devastated. My “connection” to my dad through this blessed Book was now broken.

Many people trying to encourage me after this loss would say something to the effect that the person who found it needed it more. I have to be honest. My heart was not comforted by that. I wanted MY Bible back. I wanted my dad’s Bible back. And that selfish attitude of clinging to what’s mine continued for months. The disappointment of losing a prized possession had gone from a natural response over  loss to way into the sin category. Jesus even addressed this sort of hold-on-tightly-and-not-let-go attitude with His disciples in Luke 14:33. “So no one can become My disciple unless he first sits down and counts his blessings—and then renounces them all for Me” (TLB).

Several months passed and I was bemoaning the loss of the Bible for the umpteenth time to my family, when my daughter gave me a loving rebuke in the form of a reminder about my dad – his passion to see people know Christ as Savior and Lord. She wisely reminded me that if I had to lose it, and someone picked it up, no other person than my dad would have been more thrilled to know that God could use it to draw someone into His kingdom. That reminder was enough for me. I released any hope of getting that Bible back because of the possibility that someone could know Him, could grow in Him, or could even share it with another to help that individual. I let that particular Bible go with this knowledge:

 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)

This Christmas I received a new study Bible from my children – a great treasure indeed because of those who gave it to me, but still one to hold with an open hand. May I remember to hold all of my life…and my new Bible…before Him with that openness (Romans 12:1).

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