It has been a painful week. My grandpa passed away last Wednesday after battling through pneumonia and a major heart attack a month ago. Two weeks ago, in the midst of it all, my Grammy had a stroke that rendered her unable to use her right arm and, tragically, unable to communicate with words. I flew down on Friday, and this past weekend I have had the joy, and the pain, of going with my mom to see my Grammy through a pane of glass; talking to her by means of a phone. She understands what is being said, but is unable to communicate her thoughts, questions or desires. While her face is expressive and her eyes are alert, the sounds she makes to try and talk with us are heartbreakingly unintelligible. We can’t answer unspoken questions or know the thoughts and desires of her heart. This has caused me to see the incredible value of words in ways I hadn’t before.
And it got me thinking. Can you imagine if God never spoke to us in words? If He had not given us the Bible, written down for us to know His heart, His character and His ways? If instead, we had to wonder from day to day what He was thinking, what He desired and how we could please Him and glorify His name? The confusion our hearts would feel! The unsure steps we would take day by day, never knowing what He expected of us! Everyone truly would do what was right in their own eyes…assuming, hoping, wishing, and wondering.
But that is not our God. He has spoken in words…words that are living and active…transforming, molding, sanctifying, examining, revealing, exposing, instructing, encouraging and comforting to those who read it. He has given us the most amazing letter, filled with words: consonants and vowels, letters and phrases that are clear, true and can be trusted more than any other words you will ever hear or read. He has communicated in sentences that form a continual verbal path that lead us to Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Right now, I can’t understand my Grammy and it makes tears roll down my cheeks. My heart aches for her and my heart breaks to not be able to answer the questions she is undoubtedly asking and to respond to the desires that she likely has. But as I lay in bed last night and reflected on those moments with her, my prayers turned to praise as I was filled with gratitude that God is still on the Throne. That He is forever ruling and reigning in sovereign goodness and care over the world He has made and over the children He has adopted into His family. And that His voice will forever go out to the ends of the earth. Nothing can stop His Words from being understood and proclaimed among the nations.
Only one question remains…are we hearing the words of God? By that I mean, are we opening the pages of Scripture, the very breath of God, and are our souls being fed by His clear, life-giving words? He has spoken, He can be heard…are we sitting at His feet? Are we clinging to Him for our every need and depending on Him for our very breath. Or, do our Bibles lay closed on a shelf while we stare out the glass of our lives….assuming, hoping, wishing and wondering?
“So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” I Peter 1:19