Last summer I read Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth E. Prentis. In the story, the young woman's mother was always reading Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ. The young woman found this so odd. How could a book that was so boring, and such a hard read, be such comfort to her mother? Well, as I continue on my journey, I'm beginning to ponder the same thing. There are seasons in my life when the Word of God is too complicated for my child-like mind to comprehend, and yet other times it's as though the Lord God is holding me in His lap and explaining it all.
Below is an excerpt from Chapter 37 of Thomas a Kempis book The Imitation of Christ,
“At times, God will withdraw from you; at times you will be troubled by your neighbor, and, what is more, you will often be a burden to yourself. Neither can any remedy or comfort bring you relief, but you must bear it as long as God wills. For God desires that you learn to bear trials without comfort, that you may yield yourself wholly to Him, and grow more humble through tribulation. No man feels so deeply in his heart the Passion of Christ as he who has to suffer in like manner. The Cross always stands ready, and everywhere awaits you. You cannot escape it, wherever you flee; for wherever you go, you bear yourself, and always find yourself. Look up or down, without you or within, and everywhere you will find the Cross. And everywhere you must have patience, if you wish to attain inner peace, and win an eternal crown.”
Ok, I'm right there this week. I understand this. I feel this. It's as though God is saying,”OK Amy, you're learning, let's take it a step further.”
Joshua 1:8 (NIV) says, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
The book of James is becoming very special to me as I claim what is written in scripture. God has a purpose and a plan for everything, and even in the trials of life, God works for the good of those who love Him……
James 1:2-5 (NIV) says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
Psalm 119:130 (NIV) says,“The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” The more I read, the more I understand. Perhaps that was true for the young girl's mother in Stepping Heavenward. The more she read the book, the more she understood the ways of the Lord and the world around her. What if we did the same thing? What if we cherished the Bible just as much and read it over and over and over again? Only one way to find out.