George was a rough man. He had been in gangs, prison, deadly fights and on drugs. He had survived that time of his life (which was unusual for someone with his background) pulled out of his gang, married and was trying to make a go of a normal life.
In addition, all of his sin had caught up with him in the form of Holy Spirit-induced conviction. At a Christian concert he was invited to, he opened his heart to the Lord and was born-again on the spot and soon after that began attending our church. He went right out and bought himself a beautiful leather-bound Bible.
George’s wife, however, who was also with him at the concert, wasn’t so moved. She had been a good girl her whole life and figured she was in good standing with God because of her goodness. She was glad for the change that had taken place to her husband, because after all; he needed it. It was a change he should make—but it wasn’t necessary for her.
One day, with his new Bible in hand, George tried to talk to his wife about her need to become a Christian as he was. But she refused to hear him. The discussion turned into a heated argument, and in a huff she walked out the front door as she said, “I don’t want to have anything to do with your religion or your church.”
George followed her out of the house and as she opened the car door to get in and drive away, he threw his beautiful new Bible at her. She never saw it. It sailed over her head, over the car and then landed in the neighbor’s bushes as she got into the driver’s seat.
As she drove off George went back inside plopped down on the couch, and pouted. After a few minutes he started feeling bad about having lost his temper. Just then he remembered, not only had he lost his temper, he had also thrown his Bible at her. He hurried outside and into his neighbor’s front yard to retrieve it.
But when he got there his Bible was nowhere to be found. He looked everywhere; he searched in the bushes and under them. He knocked on the neighbor’s front door and asked if they had picked it up. He asked people walking by if they had taken his Bible. He got a ladder and looked on his roof and then on his neighbor’s roof. He spent three hours checking every nook and cranny of his neighbor’s house, their yard, their bushes and around the trees. But the Bible had vanished.
As he concluded his search, the thought came to him that God had taken his Bible as a lesson to him for fighting with his wife about being a Christian and doing something as unholy as throwing his Bible at her. He became convinced that God had taken His ‘Holy Writ’ from him because of his blatant disrespect for it and for trying to hurt his wife with it.
That is when he called me. He wanted me as his pastor to come to his house to pray for him so God wouldn’t punish him any further. I came over and upon arriving, helped in the search for his Bible. But he was right—the Bible was gone.
My conclusion was someone must have seen the nice book and taken it. But this newly born again Christian refused to buy a natural explanation. In George’s mind, if someone had walked by and picked it up, God had sent them or God had just simply raptured the book up to heaven!
Finally, I decided that trying to convince him that a natural explanation was responsible for the Bible’s disappearance wasn’t just futile; it was hindering what God was doing in his heart. So I decided to just let him go on believing that God took his Bible.
You see, as a result of the incident, George was feeling great remorse for how he had treated his wife. In addition, he had acquired a great amount of awesome fear for God. And what followed was a humble heart that not only apologized to his wife; in the days and weeks that followed, his attitude was so changed it influenced her to consider that what happened to her husband may indeed be real. It ultimately helped to lead her to becoming a Christian as well.
So, I have become a believer in the “God took his Bible” theory. And, over the years, influenced partially by George’s Bible incident; I have also become a person who is much quicker to embrace miraculous explanations that I am natural ones. I find that I am able to see God more that way.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
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