29 Oct 2012

Notes from a Well Worn Bible Pt.1

Perhaps it's because I'm in pastoral work, but very often when a relative dies I am bequeathed their old Bible. It's a privilege to own so many of these family heirlooms, and a joy to read through the notes and quotes which are often recorded in them. Recently I've been looking through some old Bibles and thought it might make a nice occasional series here on the blog to share some of the things which my forebears have thought worthy of writing down in their walk with God. In an age where more and more people are defaulting to electronic Bibles, it is refreshing to encounter the physical form of Bibles long loved and much used by generations which have gone before: and perhaps there is a warning there for those of us of the Kindle/iPad generation about how much we can leave behind of our online existence.

There's an old adage that says 'a Bible that's falling apart is normally owned by someone who isn't'. I trust that the notes and quotes contained in this series might be proof of that, and a means of encouragement to anyone who calls by this blog.

The first note from a well worn Bible which I want to record comes from my Great Uncle Jack's daily reading Bible. Uncle Jack went to be with Christ some years ago, and his widow, Aunt Molly, just passed away last summer (I had the privilege of conducting her funeral service). Theirs was a life of quiet but heroic faith. They lost their daughter Mary just moments after she was born (in the days when parents did not get to spend time with the child they had lost) and their son, Cecil, died in his late teens. In the wake of such tragedy Uncle Jack and Aunt Molly held on to God, and set an example of what it is to trust Him, even when we don't understand His ways.

Below are the words of a hymn (it is written by Joseph Parker) which Uncle Jack had hand-written and kept inside his Bible: it contains rich and helpful truth in the midst of adversity:

God holds the key to all unknown,
And I am glad.
If other hands should hold the key,
Or if he trusted it to me
I might be sad.

What if tomorrow's cares were here without its rest?
I'd rather He unlocked the day
And as the hours swing open, say:
"My will is best".

The very dimness of my sight
makes me secure;
For groping in my misty way
I feel His hand, I hear Him say
"My help is sure"

I cannot read His future plans;
But this I know:
I have the smiling of His face,
And all the refuge of His grace
While here below.

Enough: this covers all my wants;
And so I rest!
For what I cannot, He can see
And in His care I saved shall be,
Forever blest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the rest I think it will help me in my walk with our great big God Tracey and Travis