Beauty Beyond Description
June 29, 2022
It had been a few days since I had read my Bible. Sure, I read other inspirational messages from my favorite authors (Ellen White, M. L. Andreasen), and I have my multiple conversations with Jesus throughout the day, but to physically be holding my Bible had been a few days.
I walked into my office to retrieve my blue Bible off my desk where it usually sits, but it was not there. I looked on the bookshelves, nothing. How strange I thought to myself. It is always in my office. I looked around my office twice, then started walking around the first floor to see if I had laid it down somewhere. Nothing. Where could it be? I started to feel very perplexed as I re-traced my steps once again.
I asked God, where could it be? The first thought that came to me was somehow my three-year old Golden Retriever, Snuffles, pulled it off the desk or it fell off the desk somehow and he decided to chew it like a chew toy. This was a frightening scenario, but one that is somewhat feasible given Snuffles personality. At three, he still chews bark, blankets, pulls stuffing out of pillows, and has a dozen or so beloved chew toys scattered throughout the house.
The second thought was a bit more pleasing, that my daughter decided to come into my office and look through my Bible. She has always seen me read my Bible, and she knows I have lots of notes inside. I really liked that thought, but that thought passed quickly because while she has her own Bible, why would she take mine?
My thoughts and feelings about my blue Bible started to swell within me. My blue Bible with my name printed in gold lettering on the front was given to me by my parents over 40 years ago. I always know where it is. I know where each text is located without having to look at the table of contents. I know where every crease came from. I know where every tear-stained page came from. I know why I underlined certain passages. And my notes. My notes! I have so many notes I have placed in the margins. A “P” located next to every precious promise God has given to us. Forty years of study and time with God are within those precious, worn pages.
This Bible has gotten me through a lot of tough times. It is my most valuable possession and I usually never let it leave its special place on my desk. Given its age and wear and tear it should have been rebound years ago. But I could never do it. I could not be parted from it - ever. As the binding got worse and worse and the pages were in danger of falling out, I had the brilliant idea to use duct tape, which so happened to be blue, to hold it together. It may look funny, messy, or broken to others, but not to me. It may not be pretty on the outside, but the beauty within is beyond description.
The third and final thought that came to me was to ask my husband to see if he had seen it. I was home alone, and I knew he was in a meeting at work, so I texted him and awaited a response. I was hoping he would not be breaking some shocking news to me that the dog ate it and all that was left were bits and pieces. When I saw his response a few minutes later I felt relieved, for he had placed it in a desk drawer in the kitchen. I was a little surprised that this was the place it was put, but I did not care. My blue duct taped Bible was safe. Apparently, I had left it on the kitchen table and it was moved to safety.
I thanked God for its safe return. And while the mystery of its disappearance was concluded, I cannot help but remember how I felt during that hour I thought it may have been lost or even destroyed. My emotions were all over the map -- perplexity, fear, sadness. I will admit, I even had shed a few tears.
I was reminded by this experience how precious my Bible has always been to me – even after 40 plus years! Forty years of time, thoughts, and notes. The feelings that swelled within me were still there. The love of my Bible, the precious truths, the precious promises, have taught me, chastened me, comforted me, loved me, have remained precious to me. The thought of losing my Bible was incomprehensible.
God uses troubles, trials, and, yes, even misplaced Bibles to get our attention and often to remind us how precious things can be. My lesson of the missing Bible showed me how much my Bible still means to me. How often we can take God, our Bible, and our lessons learned for granted.
Go deeper into your relationship with God and you, too, will find his word to be a cherished possession.