In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
It was bound to happen. In my forty years of being a pastor I’ve managed to dodge the bullet on missing various things. While I’ve had to miss several Sundays over the years, I never missed a wedding or a funeral. Ironically, I almost got off to a really bad start. Yup, I almost missed my first wedding with a bout of the stomach flu. With a bag in my pocket…we made it somehow. I never missed a funeral…that is until now. Last week came the type A flu…the kind that makes you think there are worse things than death…and I had to bow out.
It was hard. It was the mother of a member of our church, a friend, and I was honored that he asked me to do her service. Fortunately, I began preparing for the service several days before I got sick. He had shared about his mother, and I wrote her life story. With that done, I wrote the rest of the service. I was sure I could do the service and that was a mistake. So, the morning before the service that afternoon, I threw in the towel and asked one of our staff members to do the service and then texted my friend and called the funeral home. I hated it but it was the right thing to do.
Suddenly, I was very grateful for the work I had done earlier that week. I was able to give my work to our worship leader who would be filling in. Now because of the short notice it was still a deal for him to step in, but the preparation and his willingness saved the day. The bottom line was the service went great and the family was blessed. The only problem was I felt like I had failed. I know, I didn’t, but sometimes feeling trumps facts. Know what I mean?
Well, I called the family later and told them I was so sorry and that I wished I could have been there for them. They were very kind and understanding. After the phone call something came to my mind that changed my feelings of failure. From nowhere, or maybe from God, came the words, “Dewayne, you weren’t there but your words were, and they made the difference.” Instantly, I got it, I understood. God’s plan for me this time was to be a part in a different yet important way. God knew the flu was coming and He encouraged me to prepare and because of that preparation, the family was ministered too, and He got the glory.
“Even though I wasn’t there, my words, were.” What a powerful thought. It reminded me of how blessed we are to have the Word of God in our lives. In so many parts of the world, people don’t have access to a copy of what we call the Bible. In some places in the world, people treasure mere fragments of His Book. Here in America, and other parts of the world, we can own multiple copies of this blessed Book. No other book brings the comfort of His printed Word. It is a confident assurance for no matter what we face. There is a reason for that. You see, the Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to us. It is unlike any other book.
As a matter of fact, speaking of Jesus, the Bible says, “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God.” Who is this “He?” We find the answer a few verses later. It says, “So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” All that makes the Bible even more amazing. When we read the Book, we are experiencing, we are walking, hand in hand, with God. Wow. Even though God is not physically here…His Word is and that makes the difference.
If you have never checked out the Bible, Christmas is a great time to start. Discover it for yourself. Get a copy or get online and discover the power and presence of the Word of God. It is filled with peace, comfort and promises. And throughout all the pages you will find that special promise that means so much, “I’ve got this.” Bro. Dewayne