Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Bravely, they walked...

For Christmas, a family friend gave me a wonderful gift--a paraphrase of the Bible called The Message. It has provided me with, by far, the richest Bible-reading experience I've had in a long time. It's as if the translators performed open-heart surgery on the Word of God, and you can see and hear the true heartbeat of the Bible.

I've been taking my time reading through the book of Acts, and Sunday, I was reading the end of chapter 20. Paul is on his way back to Jerusalem, where the Spirit has already let him know "repeatedly and clearly that there are hard times and imprisonment ahead." Could you imagine? On his way back to Jerusalem, he stops in Ephesus to say good-bye to his dear friends there. He knows he will never see them again. On bended knee, they pray together. "And then a river of tears. Much clinging to Paul, not wanting to let him go. They knew they would never see him agian--he had told them quite plainly. The pain cut deep. Then, bravely, they walked him down to the ship."

I was so impressed by that last sentence. So many times, it feels like God is prying something from my hands that I want to hold on to so tightly. But relinquishing bravely must have a special place in the heart of God. I can see it beating on the pages of His Word.

1 comment:

Annie said...

Tray,

I LOVE your blogsite, and I love this entry. Most of all, I love YOU!

You put it eloquently and simply about walking bravely and relinquishing. Thanks so much for this rich advertisement for The Message. I know over the last months you've told me how much you've enjoyed it, and now I see it for myself.

Someone had an extra one of the New Testament here at the office, and it's just been collecting dust since my arrival. I just pulled it off the shelf, though, to read this open-heart surgery version of God's word. I know I'm going to love it.

Love you,
and congrats on a great site and fun project,

Annies