I gently pushed open the hospital door, knowing that things were not going well. I carefully entered, as quietly as I could. All was dark and still, except for the small glimmer of light that filtered through the space where the bathroom door was slightly ajar. I could see her there, just sitting in solitude, reading her Bible. I thought to myself, “What is the deal? Why is she sitting alone reading her Bible at a time like this? I just don’t get it!” But that was the pattern of her life. How many times as a child had I found her alone in her room reading that Bible!
I turned my attention toward the hospital bed where the frail fourteen-year-old lay. He should be out running and playing or riding bikes or fishing like other young boys, but here he lay, resting quietly at the moment. His mom had closed the blinds, turned out the lights, and retreated to the only place of solitude that she could find, where she could both read and keep an attentive ear to her precious son. During his waking hours, he was in extreme pain and discomfort so, as he slept, she lovingly kept any and all from unintentionally disturbing him. She had faithfully cared for him through the years, and now, she would continue to love, nurture, wait, pray, and trust as the long and hard battle against leukemia would come to an end.
We buried my little brother a few days later. That little guy had literally been my heart – and my closest side-kick. Many special memories would always remain. But when I think back on those days from over thirty years ago, that vivid memory of my mother reading her Bible, enclosed in the walls of that tiny hospital bathroom, will be forever etched in my mind.
Years passed, and through the course of time, I, too became a Christian. And, yes, I, too, began to read my Bible. But I was plagued with doubts and questions. Was the Bible indeed true? Could it all be believed? Why was it so hard for me just to, by faith, accept it all as true?
Then, one day my answer came. I was doing a study on what the Bible actually declares about itself, and I made the most amazing discovery. I found that the most unbelievable accounts in the Bible, those that are so often mocked and scoffed at, and those which are so often debated, were used by Jesus in His teachings. I was intrigued! I followed them through one by one. I studied and pondered how He made references to the Biblical truths of old and used them to explain and expound many of His teachings!
Many do not believe in the Biblical account of Creation. but Jesus did! (Matthew 19, Mark 10)
Many do not believe in a literal flood, but Jesus did! (Matthew 24:37-39)
Many do not believe in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, but Jesus did! (Luke 17:28-30)
Many do not believe that Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt, but Jesus did! (Luke 17:32)
And many do not believe that Jonah really remained alive in the belly of the big fish for three days and three nights, but Jesus did! (Matthew 12:40)
These were the passages that made such an impact on me, but there were more. I also saw how he used these Old Testament truths to teach critical doctrines of the faith. He used the story of Jonah to exemplify His resurrection. He used the days of Noah and Lot to explain what the world would be like at His second coming. He took some of the most controversial of Scriptures to explain truth. Truly, He believed the Scriptures, and He believed all of it! There is no way to explain what happened in the depths of my heart! It was settled! If it was good enough for my Lord, it was good enough for me! It was true! It was ALL true! Within my heart, I KNEW it was true!
Rested, grounded, settled, I continued my studies. I found the same was true of the apostles. Peter, James, Jude, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, and the writer to the Hebrews would go back and reference the Old Testament scriptures. Indeed, they too, believed! I knew of a certainty that the Bible was true! I knew that there I could find truth! I now knew that in His Word, I could hear Him! And my life would be forever changed!
I would go to His Word to find answers to my questions! I would go there for comfort! I would go there for encouragement! Day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, in the good times and, most assuredly, in the bad, I could be found in some quiet place reading my Bible.
I think back thirty years ago. In my mind, I re-enter that hospital room. I see my mom in that little hospital bathroom reading her Bible! She didn’t even know I was looking! “Oh, mom! I get it! I understand!” All I can think is, “I love you, Mom! Thank you for showing me the way!” – when you didn’t even know I was looking!
And for those of you who may still be waiting on your own children – Don’t give up! Let your light continue to shine! Even when you are not aware, your children ARE watching! You never know what God may do when you do not even know that they are looking!