This morning, email has not been my friend. I know we aren’t supposed to hate the messenger and all, but today I do. This morning I learned over email that someone I love dearly lost someone she loved dearly. He was a strong, brave serviceman, serving the Lord and serving in the Air Force, and his days were cut short by a hiking accident. She is a college student and one of the most profoundly faithful young women I have ever had the the privilege of knowing.
I’m grieving, as I am sure she is, the life we all expected she would have with him. But this woman is grieving like a Christian — in her email, through unspeakable pain, she is holding fast to the promise of resurrection. She grieves the death, the loss, the separation. But she does not grieve for him... he is experiencing love and joy with Jesus, the likes of which we have never known. He is fine now. We weep for us.
She can hold onto that because her mom started taking her to Bible study when she was a tyke. It was part of the air of her childhood; she breathed it every day. When I met her, she was 18 and attending her first “grown-up” Bible study (her words), and I was her leader. She came with more Bible knowledge than anyone else in the group and was the youngest by decades. And I am not referring to mere head knowledge, facts and figures and the stuff that wins you sword drills. She knew the Word of God and it was personal. Want to know how I know?
Because her beloved just died and she is trusting God.
God used Joseph, once upon a time, to stock up the storehouses full of food so that when famine hit Egypt, they would all survive.
If you have nothing stored up, you die.
So I am sitting in the grief of someone I love today, feeling her pain, even from a great distance, and this seems like a good moment to state the obvious, because maybe you have been playing around with the Word of God. Maybe you’ve been “busy”. Can I be blunt? No. You are not. If your life is arranged in such a way that time spent hungering after, feasting on the Word of God is an afterthought and not the reason you get up in the morning, then you have teed yourself up to starve in the day of trouble, and make no mistake — you are going to have trouble. And you do not know when. What could you possibly have to do, to think about, to sing about, to contemplate more than the loving, life-giving, strength outpouring words of your Lord?
And yet a lot of you have time for a lot of other things, and not this.
Stop it. Give up this infernal mucking about and start cramming food into the storehouse of your heart. Don’t wait until the famine hits, don’t wait until you are forced to stare down death, don’t wait until you are too soul-weary to absorb anything. Next week, I have 2 online groups starting 1 Peter. Don’t want to be in a group? I’ll send you the lessons, do it on your own. The Bible Reading Challenge is happening now. The opportunities are endless. LET’S GO.