Back on my desk in my study I have 38 Bibles (yes, I counted them). Here on the edge of the lake sitting on a rock watching fish swim by I have one small Bible. This is a plain Bible without footnotes and study guides. The ones on the desk in my study – study Bibles, Bibles with outlines, footnotes, researched cultural information, almost every version currently on the market… Here I have the Bible I carry when travelling. Just the Word of God. No study notes, foot notes, or outlines. Just the Word of God in a plain and simple format.
The Bible is an interesting book. We read it with our minds and physical eyes but hear it with the heart and spiritual ears. God speaks through His written Word to our hearts. God speaks – not some author, scholar, Bible publisher. The Word of God is inspired and our only authority – not the footnotes, verse numbers, chapter breaks… Just the Word of God, the basic Bible.
One of the interesting things about having quiet days beside a large lake in the mountains with no phones and emails, one radio station not worth listening to, and no proper television reception is that you have many hours to read God’s Word without interruptions. After a very early morning dip in the lake to shower (there is no shower or hot water in our rustic and old cabin) there is, by choice and circumstance, nothing to do and nowhere to rush off to. Just quiet and serenity and an opportunity to grab a hot cup of coffee (yes, we have power) and sit by the lake and enjoy God’s Word in large chunks. To read a whole Gospel at one sitting gives you a different vantage point, impression, understanding, grasp of Jesus and His life and ministry.
It is here on the backside of this mountain that I once again come to realize that you can’t be an authentic Christian on a diet of constant activity – even if that activity is good and godly. Here I come to know once again that strength comes out of solitude. Here I am made aware that power comes out of stillness. Good lessons to relearn. Good time and place to relearn them.
When reading in my study back home I hear the trains shunting in the railyard half a block from my home. Here I hear the loones calling to one another as they swim and feed no more than 20 feet from where I am. Ah! “Be still and know that I am God.”