Words of Worth

Frequent Flyer

January 19, 2013

Bible-Suitcase1I’ve been traveling quite a bit lately.   My suitcase has been “out” since before Thanksgiving and I’ve seen the November, December, January, and February issues of the in flight magazines on two different airlines.  Every time I pack, I try to streamline my clothes and essentials just a little bit more so I don’t need to check baggage and can zip right through the airport security.  My problem is not how many pair of shoes I have or too many shirts.  My problem isn’t the number of books I want to carry because I have an e-reader that can hold thousands of titles.    My problem is my Bible.  The study Bible I use every day is enormous and heavy so I can’t really pack it and to be honest, I’m just not spiritual enough to carry it under my arm across the country.  I’ve tried the Bible on my Kindle and my iPad and my Nook but reading the Bible electronically hasn’t really worked for me.

So, I recently dug out my old “diaper bag” Bible.  When I was expecting my second child, I knew I needed a Bible small enough to slip in a bag with the baby essentials.  I found the perfect size and for a few years, it was my mainstay.  Eventually my baby outgrew diapers (hooray!) and I stored that little Bible in a box in the bottom of my closet.  When I packed it on a recent trip, I found myself smiling at some of the verses I had marked and some of the notes I had scribbled in the margins.

One memo in particular caught my eye.  Right above the heading “A Letter of Paul to the Romans”, I had written “At the outset of every crisis, we choose our attitude:  Genesis 42:36 or Romans 8:28”.  I immediately thought of the words of Romans 8:28:

 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

 But what was Genesis 42:36??  Nothing came to mind so I looked it up and this is what I found:  “Their father Jacob said to them, ‘You have bereaved me of my children; Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and you would take Benjamin; all these things are against me.'”

Two very different perspectives:  God causes all things to work for good or ALL these things are against me.   One focuses on God – the other on self.

I have no idea when I wrote that note or what I was experiencing at the time.  But today I was reminded of it again when I read Day 18 in 31 Days of Praise.

In the prayer are these words, “I thank you for each disturbing or humbling situation in my life, for each breaking or cleansing process You are allowing, for each problem or hindrance, for each thing that triggers in me anxiety or anger or pain.  I’m grateful You look beyond my superficial desire for a trouble free life; instead You fulfill my deep down desire to glorify You.”

What a prayer!  What a challenge to pray that way and mean it!  Honestly, I can’t say I can repeat those words without swallowing hard a time or two, but I do know I want to try and face every crisis the Romans 8:28 way rather than with a self focused wail.  (CT)

Note:  That baby that I had turned 12 today.  Happy Birthday, Emily Grace!

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