For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures.” Romans 15:4
It’s just a little confusing. After attending yesterday’s Memorial Day service and doing a little yard work, my wife and I decided to go to Paducah, Kentucky to look around for a couple of chairs or perhaps a small sofa to complete a project we have been working on at home. So, we loaded up and headed south across the river to the land of grits. And the point of this story all began with traveling. You see, we did a lot of traveling this past week or so. We had flown to Denver and then driven a thousand miles or so in Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota. We saw a lot of things and some of them were simply beautiful. The mountains and canyons are spectacular. We also saw some things that were hard. We saw some extreme poverty as some folks tried to eke out a living in the barren desert hills and valleys of Wyoming. We saw the results of a wildfire that ravaged a large portion of the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Those were hard. But some things there and closer to home were just confusing.
The confusing part was what to do with that 4×6 piece of cloth or paper we now know as a face mask. We used to only see them on the evening news and donned by folks in other countries such as China. And then, suddenly, ready or not, they became a part of our lives. And now…it is mask or no mask? Flying, there was no doubt about the mask. When you stepped in the airport it was required…and then you didn’t take it off till you, like Elvis, left the building. They were very adamant about it—threatening arrest, jail time, and the loss of your first born if you didn’t comply. I guess all that was fine, but it seems to me, they didn’t have to act so mad about it.
Once we left the airport, it was a whole different world. Regardless of where we went or to what state we traveled, the mask requirement weren’t a deal. I mean, that is really good news. We have all heard from all kinds of sources that the COVID thing, while not gone, is in full blown retreat. I just wish someone would have told the airport folks too. As we traveled, whether it was to a gas station down the street ,or to a National Park…no mask. One restaurant proudly posted that, “following the CDC and Colorado Guidelines you are welcome NOT to wear a mask.” That was followed by something like, “unless you want to.” That made me smile. Want to? Really?
Well, anyway, that was the way it was throughout the states we visited out west. Now back to Paduach. We stopped at a local business there. Walking to the door we realized that we had forgotten we were back in the Midwest, and I didn’t have a mask. I told Judy we will just have to see. When we got to the door, sure enough, it was plastered with signs about wearing a mask. We went on in and asked the nice lady at the door if masks were required. She told me that they were asking people to wear one and I told her I had forgotten mine…did she have one? She said they did, and I slipped one on. I asked her when their governor was going to “open the state” and she said, “Oh, that doesn’t matter, our company is the one making the rules.” What? See what I mean about confusing? And, to make matters worse, virtually every person in the store was mask-less. I wore mine for a while and then reverse peer pressure took over and I took it off.
By now you have got to be wondering what this story is about! Me, too. No, not really. All of this was just a gentle reminder for me to be grateful for the Bible…the Word of God. Though written over 1,500 years by a bunch of different writers, it has stood the test of time. It is as solid today as it was a couple of thousand years ago. It is refreshing to know that God won’t change His mind and issue a revision tomorrow, next month, or next year. It is refreshing to know that He got His Word right the first time. In a world where no one seems to know what is right or wrong…the Bible hasn’t changed and personally, I like that surety.
Paul, one of those writers I told you about, was writing a letter to some Jesus followers in Rome. It was during the time when being a follower of Jesus could cost you your life. Speaking about the scriptures, he said, “For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures.” In other words, God gave us His Word to help us along this journey called life and to encourage us too. That is good news. If you haven’t read it in a while, you might want to check it out for yourself. You might be pleasantly surprised. It has sure been a help to me…especially during these confusing COVID days. It was there that I learned the great truth I close with each time we meet. Here it is…are you ready? “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne