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It's All In The Word -- 'What Goes Into The Mind Comes Out In A Life'

God intervenes

''NIV Student Bible'' ...When I was two years old, growing up in South Australia, I was sitting on the black and white linoleum floor in our kitchen while my mother was cleaning. For some unknown reason, at least to me, i picked up the bottle of polish that my Mum was using to clean the floor and took a swig of it like an Irishman skulls a pint o' Guinness. Then came a mother's nightmare, rushing your baby child to the hospital, calling your husband to tell him what's happened and how sorry you are, he gets on the phone to call all the members of his church to pray, the doctor says ''your little lad might not make it''.
My Dad, Mum and i are very thankful the Good Lord has the final say on who ''makes it or not''.

Ten years later our whole family is on a journey up the dead heart (center) of Australia, a missions trip to share God's great wonder, love and mercy to everyone under his sun.

The roads were rough, corrugated like the iron on the rooftops of Brazilian slums. Gas stations were so few and far between that we'd have to carry our own petrol (gas). By the time we'd pulled into a station many vital pieces of our Australian made Holden car were not ''holden together."

On a day like many before, we pulled over on the side of the road to set up camp in the bush. This time it was dark, so we had to put up our tents by flashlight. Once set up, I remember my brother and I finally drifting off to sleep after convincing ourselves no escapee from the mental asylum would be crazy enough to venture this far out .

At dawn, we woke wet with sweat as the outback sun saturated our tents like a bag of greasy popcorn in a microwave oven. Close to our campsite, we were pleased to see a rather large water tank (a site we only saw every few hundred miles) which to us might as well have been a pool in the Bahamas. We all jumped in, swam, splashed and lived like kids until Dad said ''we gotta go''. Thirty minutes later we're back on that corrugated dirt road heading north with the all the car windows rolled down, 110 degree heat flying in like a bullmastif's breath. It was our families first clothes dryer.

Another hour or so we came upon a bulldozer repairing a section of the road that had been washed out a few weeks earlier. Remembering that we drove the whole day yesterday without seeing anyone, we thought this would be a good chance to stop and have a chat, maybe ask about the road conditions up ahead. So the driver parks and hops down off the dozer. He looks tired, but obviously glad to see some other faces. Dad says hello and asks him about the road up ahead. The driver seems to think we should be fine for the next hundred miles or so. After a few more questions we say goodbye, and as we're heading back to the car, the driver calls out, "Oh, I can't believe I almost forgot to tell you but, whatever you do, don't go near any of those water tanks. They're full of Death Adders (snakes) laying in the bottom of the tanks to keep cool. A bite from one of those devils will leave you dead out here in just a few seconds." For the rest of the trip our car was full of silent, contemplative Aussies, with the occasional oncoming water tank sending chills up and down our spines that even the outback heat had no chance against. My family and I are very thankful that the Good Lord has dealt with snakes in the past and will once and for all deal with them in the future.

These are just some examples that come to mind of the many times I have seen God bust in (intervene), his merciful actions thankfully not always depending on whether I was aware of them or not.

Tonight is a hot September night. I'm at home with my wife, our two dogs, and a mouse we were completely unaware of until 5 minutes ago. My laptop is burning the top of my lap as my typing finger wears down to a stub, and I'm thinking about a particular time when I was fully aware of God's intervention, one that I thank him for daily. A few years back, I have to confess, the Bible was a mystery to me. Sure, I'd seen one in every hotel room from Copenhagen to Carmel, I'd heard my Dad preach more sermons from it than I've had hot dinners, I'd even started to carry my own around with me so at least I didn't look as lost as I felt. Slowly but surely, out of ignorance, anger and confusion, I became one of those Christians who keep their distance from it. I heard it once said that you don't know you're deceived until you're not, and knowing what I know now (again, God's intervention), I can see that I was deceived.

There is an enemy who hates for us to read and live Gods word. I believe one of his greatest fears (a gift he even gives himself) would be for us to love it . He roams to and fro, from Holiday Inns to water tanks, seeking someone to poison, rob and destroy. He keeps the learned dispirited and the ignorant distracted. He swindles us into forgetting to ask God to intervene! Thomas Merton said, ''...even the desire to desire Him comes from Him'," and I believe that even the desire to love and cherish God's Word comes from Him. So that's where I started, by asking God to give me a love for the Bible. I believe there are certain prayers that God is pleased to answer swiftly, and a prayer to love His Word is one of them. Maybe in God's Kingdom this is a greater miracle than mountains thrown into the sea, or stubby typing fingers restored.

I love the Bible and that's a grand miracle. I pray once more for Gods intervention, that this letter encourages you to ask your Father in Heaven to give you what He is more than pleased to give you - a love for His Word.

Let us all be thankful that The Good Lord still walks every page of His Word as Judge and Redeemer, in trial and consolation, calling us to seek Him while He may be found.
Sometimes we have not, only because we ask not (James 4:2).

Grace and peace to you.

peter furler

Note : With its brilliant commentaries by Philip Yancey and Tim Stafford, The Zondervan Student Bible [NIV] has and continues to be my daily read.

download 180 days bible reading plan ... » Click to download the Newsboys' "It's All In The Word" 180 days bible reading plan! (pdf file, 388 kB)


This article originally appeared at newsboys.com in 2002/ 2003.

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