“I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” (Ps 119:14-16)
I remember a few years ago when I experienced an unexpected blessing. No, it was not a check in the mail or even a pat on the back. It was well-marked Bible. Let me explain.
It was the Bible of my mother-in-law and it bore the witness of someone who had spent numerous hours there. Many of the pages were soiled, indicating that she had handled them often. Certain favorite passages were highlighted and others were underlined. I saw also personal notes and comments that had been written and dates recording a time when her pastor had preached a message she wanted to remember. There was hardly a place where she had not made some indication of receiving a spiritual blessing.
As I looked through it my heart was thrilled. Though she apologized for its condition, to me it was a wonderful discovery. Often I use a Bible that looks very similar as I prepare my messages and devotionals. It is one that I have had since I was a student preparing for the ministry at Tennessee Temple. Just a few moments of scanning through its pages and I am once again reminded of the many blessings that I have received from it over the years. Some people are opposed to marking a Bible and I would certainly never criticize anyone for reverencing God’s Word. However, I have often heard that if we ‘mark our Bible; our Bible will mark us.’
Marking a Bible for the sake of marking is useless. But leaving records of special revelation we have received from the Lord can bless us every time we review them. For my mother-in-law, the Word of God was her bread when she was hungry and her water when she was thirsty. It was her light when she was in darkness and her sword when she needed deliverance. It was her comfort when she was grieving and her friend when she was lonely. It gave her peace when she was anxious and hope when she was discouraged. She used fed from it daily knowing that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
I encourage each of us to have some way of recording the blessings and special revelations God gives to us along the way. Someday we may return to those records and be blessed again. Someday someone else may come across our records and be blessed as well!