I jotted a quick note in the margin of my Bible, took that last sip of coffee, and just sat for a moment soaking in all I had read in the quietness of the morning. My fingers flipped the gold-edged pages, now more white than gold. I closed my eyes and thought of the many miles God and I had traveled together the past few years. Troubles. Discoveries. Revelations. Excavating. Shaping. Surrender. Freedom. Joy. Oh, the overwhelming joy!
As I ran my hand over the not so old, brown leather book, I could feel a hump created by the stubby #2 pencil sleeping peacefully between the middle pages. Its graphite gray markings decorated every page with meaning only their scribe could fully understand. Then a foreboding thought ran roughshod into my reminiscing – what if I were to lose this Bible? I shuddered at the thought. My freedom journey lay documented in those pages! I knew, as more and more time passed, I would cherish the memories of this incredible journey.
Shaking off the thought of losing such a treasure I moseyed out of the chair to get on with washing two weeks of Alaska out of our clothes. Ron had gone to the farm to mow, so I could sing as loud as I wanted while I washed, dried, and put away the clothes. After putting away round four, I passed through the hallway and noticed something drifting across the kitchen. Smoke! From the laundry room!
The putrid smoke billowed out from behind the dryer. I rushed over to push the dryer’s stop button – like that was going to help. It wouldn’t turn off. I ran outside just to get a breath. Then went back in. I know. I know. You’re not supposed to do that – but there were no flames, and besides, I needed a telephone! I called 911 just as flames came flickering out beneath the dryer. I think that old saying fits here: where there’s smoke, there’s fire. By the way, it’s the choking smoke that gets you way before the flames ever do. But that’s a blog for another day.
Normally, I stay pretty calm, but I don’t mind telling you this old girl panicked. I ran next door and just about scared the poor neighbor boy out of a year’s growth. He sent his dad while I called Ron. I figured he could get to me much faster than the fire department. Shoot. It had already been at least two and a half minutes, and they weren’t there yet. 🙂 Thankfully, God sent our son Jarrod to the farm at the perfect time. Ron had just turned the mower off to talk to him when he heard my distress call. I’ve always thought of Ron as my hero, but he earned major, I mean MAJOR, points that day. He fearlessly pulled back the two halves of his shirt exposing the giant S underneath, pulled the water hose through the garage, while Jarrod turned off the air and cut the power. The fire department roared up the driveway, made sure all was well, and helped get the smoke out of the house. In the midst of the turmoil, even in a panic, the thought of losing my Bible returned. I know now, without a doubt, my two greatest physical possessions are my Bible and the computer keeping all my digital memories stored – God memories and people memories.
When the world around us is going up in smoke, our priorities become crystal clear. What do you hold most dear? I am thankful the God of the Bible will remain alive and well even if the physical pages of his words are destroyed by fire. If you’ve surrendered to His love and received His grace you have His Spirit living within you – and nothing (NO THING) can separate the two of you!
“Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
look at the earth beneath;
the heavens will vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment
and its inhabitants die like flies.
But my salvation will last forever,
my righteousness will never fail.” Isaiah 51:6