Many people have something that they prize more than anything else they have. Some have horses, some have cars, houses, or some other item of grandeur. Some have smaller things, like books, gifts, pictures, or other sentimental items. Myself? I fall into the sentimental category. Here is what I would consider one of my most prized possessions:
Yes, a stack of envelopes with dates on them. They start in early June and go through sometime in early August. The year isn’t on there, because they were for just a specific span of time in the summer of 2007. My wife and I, then newly minted engaged couple, were going on summer missions trips, two months, on opposite sides of the world. I in New Zealand and Australia, she in Peru. And it was a long two months. But, wife back then had a surprise for me, something super special. She would tease me regularly when we spoke on the phone (I lived in Florida, she in Kansas). And, it wasn’t until right before we began the training for our missionary endeavors that she gave me her gift. A card for each day of the trip. A card for me to open and read, along with bits of Bible trivia, for each and every day.
Here is a picture from my 26th birthday:
I enjoyed these cards. And I still do. I don’t know if my wife realizes it, but, some nights, when I cannot sleep, I pull these out and look through some of them, trying to remember what I was doing or where I was going while traveling on the other side of the planet.
Now, years have passed, we’ve been married since the end of 2007, and we have four children. We’ve moved several times and worked and grown a lot together. And I’ve matured a lot. There is one thing that I wish I had done differently when I was on that trip some nine years ago along with those cards. I wish that I would have been as eager to read the Word of God as much as I was eager to open the next day’s card. I never cheated. Not once. (It even became a team obsession, kind of, as I was a team leader and my missionaries loved the cuteness of the cards, thinking that it was so amazing!).
I am not writing to lessen the value of the cards that my wife wrote for me, spending countless hours of her time, allowing the unsecure me to feel secure in the love that she had for me. What I am writing about is that, as a Christian, my most prized physical and tangible possession needs to be (and is) the Word of God. Paul writes, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16, ESV). God’s Word, the Good News of Jesus the Christ, is the power unto Salvation! My most prized possession isn’t really a possession, but it is that great salvation that God has wrought in my life.
When I wake in the morning, I need to dig into God’s Word like some people need their coffee. Badly. I believe that not only does God command it for the Christian (Psalm 119:145-148; John 21:1-14), I know for me that it really helps set the pace and tone for my day. God knows infinitely better that I what I need. And often the Words I read from the Bible directly impact my day, sometimes without my realizing it in that moment.
So, the next time you go to pull out that prized possession, or take it for a spin, or a ride, flight, read, or whatever…ask yourself this: is my time with God as important? As breathtaking? Or am I committing idolatry in some way?
Now, I will still continue to pull out these cards from time to time, however, the daily eager expectancy to read something will be for the Word of God.