My wife, Margaret, and her sister were visiting a dear elderly and godly friend in the hospital.
As Margaret was reading Psalm 42 from the Word of God, suddenly the lady in the next bed said, “Are you about through? I don’t like that!”
The Word of God does that, doesn’t it? To some, it soothes, comforts, challenges, encourages, convicts and builds up. To others, the Word of God is a stinging sound!
Should we not read and use the Word of God more to let it do its work?
During my cancer treatment years ago, Margaret had to rush me to emergency one night. As the doctors worked on me through the night, not really knowing what to do, they called Margaret into the hall the next morning to explain my situation to her. About that time, a chaplain came in to see me and I thought “Oh no, this must be it.”
As the chaplain talked softly to me for a few minutes, I finally opened my eyes and as tactfully as I could in my pain said, “Is that the stuff you share with people all the time?” He said, “What do you mean?” I said, “Well I’m dying of cancer, I do not want to hear about the sweet breeze blowing through the trees, the smell of flowers or the birds chirping. I am dying! You need to read the Word of God.” He said, “The Word of God? Where do I get a copy?” I said, “For Pete’s sake, you are a chaplain! Get one of those Gideon Bibles over there on the table.” As he picked up the Bible he asked, “Where do I read?” I said, “Well, why don’t you start with Romans?” (I forgot that when you are dying you are supposed to read Psalms, not Romans). So he began to read Romans chapter one. In my pain I went to sleep just as he got to verse 16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” What a great verse to go to sleep on!
The next day, he came to see me again and asked “Can we read the Word of God some more?” As he read and we talked, I challenged him to use the Word with more patients because even in our misery, agony, pain and discomfort, the Word of God brings hope.
The Scripture says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). So let’s read the Word of God and our faith will continue to grow.