And wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and entreating Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured. Mark 6:56
My Bible reading for today was Mark 4-6. This scripture is the last verse in that reading and it was previously marked with a highlighter and underlined in pen. It touched my heart to the point of tears and brought back the times I’ve pictured it… pictured being able to reach out and touch even the hem of the robe of my Savior. I’ve read the whole Bible three times and am reading it my fourth, this year. God’s Word saved my heart, my life, my soul. As many times as I’ve read this and other verses, they are still living waters bringing the answer to every need.
For many years, my Bible reading and study was here and there. I’d read every day for weeks and then go months without opening it. Eventually, I did learn from my mother to run to this living Word when I was hurting, scared, and most especially … when I was broken.
Driving home from taking my 12-year-old to school this morning… I turned the radio off and cried out to the Lord for help in mothering him. I asked the Lord to show me how to teach and train him in righteousness when I’ve missed the mark in so many ways lately.
The Lord let me look back over my life and I saw how He had given me what I needed to make it through the wars of this world. He gave me His Word. The Bible. Verse after verse comes to me for every situation. No matter where I’ve lived, (village, city or countryside)… He has been there and His Word has been my map, my journal, my how-to and my answer book. Time after time, I’ve closed my eyes and pictured touching the fringe of His robe and being filled with His peace and power.
The first time I recall starting to read the Bible on my own is the Christmas I was 12 years old. My mom was working and commuting quite a distance to and from work. She found money and time that year to go to a Christian book store and she lovingly chose a burgundy Bible with a genuine leather cover and gold-edged pages. She had my name engraved in gold and she wrapped it and put it under the tree. I remember her telling me that it was the best gift of any I’d ever had. Everything she did concerning this present was shining and special. Our excitement grew with each passing day.
One day, while mom was working, I asked my 9-year-old sister, Sherry if she knew what the gift was. She didn’t want to answer and I took complete control of the situation and became almost obsessed with getting the truth out. She kept telling me that it was very special and repeatedly told me she couldn’t tell because mom told her to make SURE I did not find out until I opened it on Christmas morning. I was not to be stopped. I told her that mom would never, ever have to know. I told her I would act very surprised and insisted she tell me. She finally broke her silence and let me know what I had.
The weeks whittled down and Christmas morning greeted us early. We celebrated what Santa gave us and finally gathered around the tree “Indian style” to open our gifts from mom. At last, she carefully pulled the last gift to be opened. My gift. The special suprise. She placed the present in my hands with a hopeful, joyful look. With a huge smile, I exclaimed, “My Bible! I can’t WAIT to see what it looks like!”
My mother drew in a deep breath and looked at my sister and I looked at them both, horrified at what had just flown from my mouth.
A sad and scary silence filled our little home and my mother’s blue eyes filled with tears. “How? How did you know?” Before I could answer, she looked at my sister and asked if she told me. She admitted that she had and I fumbled through an explanation of how much I had wanted to know and told her it was still special.
My words were just words and I knew it. The truth was, I had not thought once of anyone other than myself…what I wanted. I hadn’t cared about the effort it took my mom to think of, choose, pick up and wrap such a gift of the heart. I didn’t stop to think that I was robbing her from being a part of something she really wanted to bless me with. I hadn’t considered the position I put my trusting, trying -to -please- me- at -all- cost, sister in. I wanted to know what was for me under that tree and not much else mattered.
Thankfully, through many years, tears and life lessons learned by the grace and goodness of God, I have come a long way. There are still times when selfishness will try to pry open the door but I just have to open my Bible to shut that door!
Do you remember when you first started reading the Bible? Do you have a Bible you hold dear? More importantly, are you reading the Bible now? Do you have a Bible of your own? If so, how did you get it? If you need a Bible, please comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bibles: Christmas of 1981, First Bible (burgundy)
Christmas of 1990, Second Bible (teal) – my mom bought my husband and I matching Bibles. 🙂