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."
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.
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
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.
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.
Note : With its brilliant commentaries by Philip Yancey and Tim Stafford,
Zondervan Student Bible [NIV] has and continues to be my daily read.
» Click to download the Newsboys' "It's
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