I want to share with you a “selfish” side of me. I will tell you straight up…this is a long post. But—if you read to the end—I think you may find a nugget. Not a chicken nugget either. Let me know if the nugget applies to you.
I have a selfish side when it comes to books. I hate to admit it…but it’s true. I have shared this in an intimate setting of our “Common Grounds” girls, and I’ve shared it with my retreat girls. But now, I’m coming clean with you. My faithful reader (if I were just as faithful at writing….would you spare some grace?)
On an impulse, actually, the LORD gave me this impulse, I picked up the phone and invited a friend for “breakfast devotions” at a local fast food spot for a morning in January. As I was finishing my reading before leaving that morning, I heard the Lord whisper in my heart, “read her what you read this morning”.
Hmmm. Was that me? Was that my imagination? Since I wasn’t positive, and since the word I read that morning didn’t “jump out” at me, I decided it must be “just me thinking that”. So I promptly ignored the thought.
Finished getting ready, gathering up my Bible, purse, keys and glancing in the mirror, knowing that the barely any makeup look was not real popular, I heard it again. “Take the book and read her what you read”. Okay. That time I know it wasn’t me.
I walked back through the living room on my way out the door, grabbed the book and tucked it in my purse. “Okay, if You insist. But I really didn’t see—or hear anything in the message of the day. It was good…but I’ve heard better.” I cannot count the times that I have been blessed by a particular Word or verse from the daily readings in this book. Many times it has lead to praise, tears, song, in-depth prayer, so maybe—there was something for her.
I arrive just before she did, and I secured us a good seat for lots of talk and prayer. As we greeted one another and placed our order for biscuits and coffee, we head back to the booth. I ask her to open in prayer and as we did, I felt the Lord’s sweet presence settle in.
As she was unwrapping her biscuit, I said with excitement, “I need to read you something”.
Her eyes light up as she says, “Okay!”
As I read, tears began to pool then course down her cheeks. I felt the lump in my throat as I knew that God had indeed spoke to my heart and this was not my doing…but fully His. He knew the depth of the need in her life.
I finished reading and she whispered, “I needed that”.
As she asked me “where did you get that book”….I found myself floundering. Because at the very moment I heard myself say, “you can get them at most any bookstore”, I heard God speak again to my heart, “GIVE her the book”.
I began this little monologue in my mind with Him.
“If I give her this book, HOW IN THE WORLD DO YOU THINK I’LL HEAR FROM YOU IN THE MORNING WHEN I DO MY DEVOTIONS! I LOVE MY LITTLE BOOK!” Really. Thinking about this now, I can’t believe He didn’t knock me off the seat.
She asked me to read it to her again, and I heard again, the firm voice, “Give her the book”. This time, when I finished reading, I handed the book across the table.
“Here. The Lord wants you to have this book. There are things you will need for coming days tucked inside.”
She started to argue, but she really wanted it—and I really wanted her to have it. I knew I could get another one.
She handed me a book across the table, “Living with Less”, by Mark Tabb. This was the book that my sister, Wanda had been reading in the last few weeks of her life. This book was important to my friend to purchase, as she wanted to know what was on the mind of a dying saint. Of course the Bible was close by the hospital bed, but this other book was close by as well. Wanda was trying to simplify her life.
I was glad to receive this book as she readily handed it over to me—she was glad to be able to “give” something in exchange for receiving something. Hmmm. Why wasn’t I more like that? To tell the truth, I was still wondering how I was going to do devotions the next morning without my Jesus Calling book! I was very pitiful! It is a pure wonder that God ever chooses to use me for anything!
We enjoyed a great time in the Lord, sharing what He was doing in our perspective lives—no talk of work, churches, family, purses, shoes, lipstick—nothing but Jesus Christ. Totally.
The next morning, I sat down with my coffee, Bible, devotion book, but no Jesus Calling book. I sort of whined. Not much—but just enough to be annoying to my own self. Then I recalculated my blessings. I had many. I had given that same book to several people. Reserving only one copy for myself. But I knew I could get another the next time I went shopping.
The following day I was out—shopping for the “book”. No luck. Returning home, I talked to God. Told Him I was sorry for acting like I had acted. I knew He would speak to me through anything—as He had many times before. I didn’t need the book. I had THE BOOK. And several versions of The Book. So I was thankful.
It was then that He reminded me of another book.
When I arrived home, I rushed around looking for the book, “God Calling”. I know what you’re thinking. You are thinking I’m crazy—or that I’m hooked on books that imply that God or Jesus is “calling”. But you see…He really is. Not necessarily in these little books, although He uses them, but through His Word. His divinely inspired, Spirit breathed Word—we call –The Bible. And I know that very well.
I didn’t find the book right way. But the next morning, as I sat down to spend some time with Him alone…it came to me as a picture in my mind of where the book was (this was after I had frantically thought I had given IT away too!). I walked right in the office and picked it up from the shelf! Ecstatic!
As I opened the book, I realized it wasn’t exactly like the other book I had. There were no Scripture references at the bottom of each devotion. Nor was there a verse listed at the top of the page. But as I turned to the page for THAT day, I read what brought tears sharp and hot to my eyes.
“Wait on the Lord”. Psalm 27:14. That’s all I needed. I didn’t need to read further—but I did. But I knew from the first words, the reason God wanted me to give up my little book. He had something to say—and I would only hear it or read it—if I gave the other away. The other I read faithfully every day—and discussed my reading with friends—far and near.
“Wait on the Lord” was something that Wanda did every day. She waited for her healing. Just as we waited for an answer to a decision we had felt the Spirit leading us to make…and in January, He told us that HE was leading—we were following—and to wait on His timing. He had the course set. So while I always felt like new things needed to begin at the first of the year, and while I am a planner to a certain extent, and like to know all the why’s and wherefores …I didn’t have a clue about this path…it was another new one.
But I knew enough to trust Him. For He—knows it all.
Friend, I don’t know what you’re up against today. I don’t know what big decisions are hammering to be solved…but I do know He is trustworthy. I do know He is faithful. I do know that HE is the only one I trust as my Guide. Even though others may not understand…don’t lose heart…just trust HIM. Open your heart, your ears and your eyes—to HIM.
John 10:27 KJV
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. . .”
By the way, He’s breaking me from my selfishness of books…I’ve given away two whole bookcases full (6 ft tall) of books and the book cases! AND only taken in 4 books in exchange.
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