Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thy Word Have I Hid in My Heart--

Was thinking of Jeremiah. About how he was thrown in the dungeon. In the mire. And how he was brought out of the pit with rotten rags. And about how he let God use him through this experience to prophesy (minister, if you will) to others during this time. The song, "If it Takes a Valley" comes to mind as well.

I get to feeling sorry for myself what a rotten place I've found myself "thrown into." Like how unfair it seems. How sometimes it's hard to catch a break. How everything seems to come the hard way for us. Yes, it's a hard road sometimes. It's a valley. And sometimes the word valley is a euphemism for it when it's actually a dungeon full of muck and mire. A disgusting mess.

I can tell you, I talk big in the blogosphere. Here, I'm Superwoman. Invincible. Unflappable. But stop for a moment. And look past the screen--I'm human. Cut me, I bleed. Tempt me, I cave. Anger me, I push back. I know what it means to be in the mire, weighted down by daily cares, by sins that so easily beset us, by apathy -- by depression. And I have to remind myself daily that I am not alone in this life--maybe even not alone in the dungeon. Some of you have been there too, I know. I've read your blogs.

What keeps me going, what keeps me sane, what keeps me alive is knowing that it's temporary. Knowing that it's for a season. That I am not forsaken. That there is no valley or dungeon low enough that God can't reach. When I feel like a failure, when I feel unworthy, when I feel inferior -- HE IS THERE.

This afternoon I was looking for my long-forgotten stamp collection. It's here somewhere. Probably the attic. What I found in the process was every Bible I have had since about the age of 8. All of them worn, the pages coming unglued, underlined, dated, dog-eared. The journey of my life is underlined and dated in these. Someone else might not be able to see it in the margins, but I know it's there. Time and time again I've turned to His word for comfort, for guidance, for peace -- and for correction. What in the world would I do if I found myself in a dungeon and had no Word hid in my heart, no foundation to keep me stable, no landmarks set for me by my parents and grandparents and most of all Christ to follow?

I close my eyes and I remember sitting in church next to my Granny. I would play tic-tac-toe or doodle and listen to her sing. I would watch her mark the text in her well-worn Word. I hear her praying. I found my little Prim dress in the cedar chest, my Honor Star cape, and a handkerchief from my wedding. I found a crocheted shawl Granny made that I wore in a church Christmas play. And I found that first Bible. And in that Bible, just like my current Bible, the words remain --32 years later: Jeremiah 31:33" I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they will be my people."
His Word will stand forever. Though our circumstances change, and we find ourselves in difficult places, HIS WORD REMAINS. He is faithful. His mercy endureth forever. And his love is everlasting. Amen and Amen.


Kathleen Marie said...

Wow, what amazing treasures you have and what great memories. I was 8 I think when we started going to mass. I got a protestant church today with my hubby and love it. I love Jeremiah, 27:11-13 being some of my favorites scriptures.

God Bless you!

Gretchen Lavender said...

Wonderful post:-)

Praying for your Prodigal said...

What treasures! Still, the greater treasure is the legacy your Grandmother left within you.....the love of your LORD! As oldest grandchild, I received my Grandmother's Bible upon her death. It is a cherished treasure, filled with handwritten notes of her faith. What a blessing!


PT2006 said...

I miss her too! The memories we share are priceless. We have been blessed in our heritage. Just as we never wanted to disappoint her, we should not fail to pass on all that we have been taught. This is our challenge.