As a word-hungry kid I was given a book called A Peep Behind the Scenes by Mrs. O. F. Walton (which gives you an idea of just how old it is). The novel had a wonderful storyline following a girl who danced as part of a circus with all its colour and energy.
Generally, I only read a book once and as a result A Peep Behind The Scenes remained on a literary pedestal in my mind. I raved about it. I recommended it. I heaped accolades on that author. That was until a few years ago when I picked it from the bookshelf and thought I’d revisit the narrative of my youth.
It was nothing like I remembered, certainly not the punchy, exciting storyline preserved in my mind. I didn’t even bother finishing it – just flicked through a few chapters and returned it to the shelf. I’m sure you know the feeling. Like visiting the home of your childhood, everything is distorted by a younger perspective. You remember the ceilings being higher, the rooms bigger, everything altogether grander.
I am so thankful that the Bible is not one of those books or childhood memories that dim and lose their application in maturity. In fact, I have found it to be the opposite. Re-readings reveal new insights, new morsels of truth, new encouragement and conviction that allow me to fine-tune the way I live and ‘keep the faith’. While our life experiences and circumstances – the very world we occupy – shift and tilt, the Word never changes.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever,” we read in Hebrews 13:8, and 2 Timothy 3:16-17 adds, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
We are in an era of change. Technology is hurtling us forward, industries that were once the mainstay of entire communities are struggling and even the meaning of words like life, marriage, family and freedom are being dissected. And not all change is bad, but when everything is shifting like snow in a blizzard, we need somewhere solid to plant our feet, to steel ourselves for the storm.
The world is a shape-shifter but the Word of God is steadfast.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
Time to stand firm on the timeless truth of God’s word.
As printed in The Examiner Newspaper for Keeping the Faith column on Monday April 22, 2013.