May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word. (Ps. 119:74)
My grandfather suffered from iritis, a painful inflammation of the eyes that made them extremely sensitive to light. For an extended period, he had to lie in total darkness. Bandages covered his eyes, shades were pulled, and quilts were hung over the windows to prevent even the smallest glimmer of light from entering his room.
His condition meant he couldn’t read his Bible, of course, but family members sitting in the hallway outside his room would read it to him through the closed door. When no one was reading it, he held it firmly in his hands, and when sleeping he placed it under his pillow.
Bibliolatry? Worshiping the Word? No, not at all. He had met his Lord on those pages, and its truth was the basis of his hope both in this world and in the world to come. Contrary to appearances, his room wasn’t dark at all. It was filled with a light no one could see.
John Wesley said it well. “I want to know one thing—the way to heaven. God himself has written it down in a book. O, give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God!” In an age that many find increasingly hopeless, we can find hope in the Christ we meet on the pages of that book.
Read the Word, not just out of habit but in hope.
Bob Black is professor emeritus of religion at Southern Wesleyan University, where he served for thirty-two years. Along with Keith Drury, he coauthored the denominational history, The Story of The Wesleyan Church.
© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.