Sept 3 2005
Andrea and I went on a walk two nights ago. We stopped and got on our knees to pray, we asked God to give us direction. We both something was not right in our walk with God. That we were not living, or not prepared as we should be to do what God was going to ask of us. We walked about 5 more minutes and I felt the Lord say to me, my need was to study the Bible more and grow a foundation of Biblical knowledge. Andrea said she had been feeling the same message. We need to learn the scriptures and write down and learn versus that speak to us.
I hate that I have a poor memory, that I forget things I read or study. It is like pouring water into a bucket full of holes. But I realized I remember less the things in my life that I don’t use. And there is my problem, my sin of putting God and His word on the back burner in my life. Now I’m faced with Andrea having cancer and I find myself wishing I had my priorities correct.
I have read the Bible cover to cover yet I can’t tell you a verse or the chronological flow of Christ’s life. How can I lie for Christ without this foundation?
I thought of my flying career. I was taught the basics “operator manual” of the T-37, T-38 or F-15E long before I ever flew them. You nearly memorized the manual on the systems of the plane. But there were some procedures that required you to memorize them because if anything went wrong, time was of the essence and there was no time to pull out your checklist and read what to do. These most critical steps of an emergency we printed in bold text, and they were called “Boldface.” These were steps you have to memorize exactly. In fact weekly in pilot training you took Boldface tests where you had to write the steps to the emergency procedures. If you left out a word, or even a letter then you failed and you were grounded until you passed. Also each day a student was given a simulated emergency and he stood up in front of the class and had to tell what he would do. If that emergency required the boldface, without looking at your checklist, you had to say the steps exactly as they were written. If you made a mistake you were told, “Take a seat.” And you were taken off the flying schedule, grounded for not knowing how to handle the emergency. It was a pressure filled environment, but that was intentional to help replicate the pressure you would feel in an actual emergency in the air. There was no room for error. It was a proven teaching technique because if you had a critical emergency you reacted without thought, your mind your hands immediately ran the steps in your mind. It had to be this way because it was a matter of life and death.
As I thought of how my training had prepared me for emergencies I thought how had I been preparing my spiritual life to handle this “emergency” I was now in? I felt so unprepared to face Andrea’s cancer and the possibility of losing my wife, my best friend. I thought it is because I don’t know the operators manual for my life. What had I been doing with my time to ready for this trial? What had I done with my time when life was “easy” that I could now draw from when life was crazy?
God was telling me that I needed to learn His word, His Boldface. That was the void I felt and waiting for a quick fix, that did not require me to do anything was not the answer. God was telling me to take action and learn His word.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
There is my road map. God’s word has to remain in me. That was my direction. I have been sitting back living life not reading or living what I read. I had to read so that it abides in me. I have been asking God to heal Andrea without putting in the effort that I needed which was to allow His word to abide in me. I had no Boldface to fall back on, nothing to draw from in this emergency yet God was faithful to show me this need in my life.
Thank you Lord for speaking to me today. You have pointed me to the answer I sought. You are so faithful to us. I pray your words will abide in me. Open my eyes and my mind to your words. Help me to live them.