God's Word

God's Word

By Tabitha Price

Boarding a plane to Chicago is pretty routine for me by now. Fifteen hours at 30,000 feet is almost mundane. Curling into a tiny ball, positioning my head against the concave form of the window, and drifting off to sleep is no longer an impossible challenge. I have become adept to this kind of travel in the four years that I've been part of building the Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation (MAST), Bible translation program. I actually enjoy flying. For the most part, I love it. I love seeing new places. I even like airplane food. I am a gypsy at heart. Of course, the best part is the reason I travel.

All over the world, I meet fellow believers hungry for God's Word, eager for help to translate it into their native language. I hear stories like the one Isaac of Southeast Asia told me last night about a 93-year-old man.

"He insisted on coming out of his village to be at the New Testament dedication. This is no easy journey. The first day he walked all day." (Wait a minute! The first day? How many days did he travel?)

"Then he traveled for three days by bus. It takes four days to get to the city from his village. He had to come. He had to tell us how thankful he is to finally have Scripture in his own language. With tears in his eyes, he spoke to our group at the dedication. He thanked the translators and the leaders of this project for finally getting the Scriptures for his people. His eyes are pretty bad. I don't know if he can even read it for himself, but he is overwhelmed by joy and gratitude for what this means to his people."

Wow! What a story! How precious this mans' years of waiting are in the eyes of our Father. How beautiful is his grateful heart!

I am reminded of David's reverence for God's precious Word: "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path...Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope...the law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold" (excerpts from Psalm 119:105, 49, 72). 

I hear this, and am challenged. Do I love God's Word with this kind of fervor? I travel in relative comfort for a mere day to come to these workshops. This man, at 93, traveled for days, and walked for hours to be here. He came simply to be a part of the community of God, rejoicing in the hope of God's Word

Sometimes I think the availability of Scripture in the English language curbs our appetite. It's like we have a veritable buffet of Scripture options, and we take that for granted. It becomes a part of life for us, but it does not impart life. It becomes mundane. When we need it, we can crack it open. We sing about it; we use it in worship services. We honor God's Word with our lips, but our hearts are often distracted. 

When I hear stories like this one, I am reminded of how much His Word matters. I pray God will light the fire within me to value His Word like I should - that I might constantly find His Word to be "the joy and rejoicing of my soul!"

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