In December 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed, bringing rise to 15 new separate nations and opening up new lines of communication between the west and the east. Sometime after this, an 11-year old girl from Nebraska took it upon herself to send a letter and bible to a man named VJ in one of those new countries. He was an atheist as was generations of his family before him. But I sat in awe of God’s amazing grace as VJ told of how he found in that bible the answers to questions he had been asking for years. He became a Christian and later a minister. He and his wife are now lights to God’s grace in Central Asia in a predominantly Muslim community. It seems like such a small act of faith, but oh the light that little girl shed into a dark place because in her innocence she thought it might make a difference to send a bible across the ocean.
|Picture taken by Chris Juengel|
Now, I can’t think of anything to say. I’m embarrassed to admit that I can’t remember the last time I opened my bible with any regularity. I abandoned my studies. Every time I felt guilty about it or frustrated with myself for being lazy, every time I tried to produce in myself a desire or passion for God, I’d go out and buy another Christian living book, devotional, or themed bible and set them on my bookshelf to walk past later. I’m not saying that I stopped believing or living my faith. I’m saying that I stopped caring about it. And I really didn’t like that about me.
That other stuff—the issues in our relationship. They still exist. That’s how amazing God is. He is blessing me with renewal and passion before I’ve cleaned up my act! I know what I have to do. I’ve got to read my bible and talk to God today and repeat it again tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. If I want the relationship, I’m going to have to do the work. All I needed to do was to recognize that and make the firm decision to do it because the result of a closer relationship with God is worth the work.