Penciled in the Margins
"God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away." Revelations 21:4 (AMP)
One day a friend commented on how "inked up" my Bible was while pointing to the underlined words, comments and prayers written beside scriptures.
"I don't write in my Bible in ink," she said. "I only write in pencil."
She explained that she had a tough childhood. While growing up, there were many people in her life that had let her down. Eventually she let herself down, and it hurt not only her, but her children and her marriage.
One day she picked up a Bible and started reading it. To her, many of the scriptures seemed harsh, and she assumed those that were hopeful were meant for someone else. As she read, she wrote down comments. She wrote down questions. She penciled in a picture of a broken heart next to one scripture.
Then, over time, those scriptures started to make sense. What once seemed harsh now seemed loving. "God wasn't trying to take anything away from me. He was trying to give me life," she said.
The more she read, the more she wrote in the margins of her Bible, but always in pencil. Question marks were erased and comments of gratefulness replaced them. Scriptures that once seemed written for others were claimed as her own. One day she erased the picture of the broken heart and penciled in an image of a new heart — one that was whole and beautiful.
In Revelation 21:4 we are assured that God "wipes" away old things. That word means "to erase." He is continually writing in the margins of our lives, erasing tears and writing in joy. Mourning or sadness ebbs away as He gently writes in hope for tomorrow. What we might see as permanent, God sees written in pencil.
Perhaps today you feel as if nothing can change. Are you willing to invite God into the margins of your life?
Your thought life.
When we do, change begins. Old things pass away and we are made new as God rewrites truth into those areas. We become more like Him, discovering God has so much more for us as He etches His love on our hearts and our lives.
Dear Lord, go deep. Shine Your light on the penciled margins of me. See those places where I am scarred. Touch those thoughts that keep me bound. Erase the old, and write in the new. I stand with my heart and life wide open. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Change often begins when we show God those places where we still doubt, where we hurt and where we desire new life. It's not that He doesn't see them already, but when you and I invite Him in, it is a huge step of faith!
Get alone with God. Be as honest as you can (Matthew 6:6 The Message). Show Him the raw places. Show Him your doubts. Invite Him in.
"Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light." — Helen Keller
Matthew 9:22, "Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well. At once the woman was made well." (NASB, 1995)
Isaiah 35:10, "Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness." (NLT)