A lot has happened since I started this journey of handwriting the Words of God in a notebook. I started out of the gates like gang busters. I was riding the wave of excitement and cruising through the book of Matthew. Then…LIFE.
One thing I forgot to calculate for was the variable of life interrupting my well laid out plans. Now, it’s not that it never occurred to me that I may get busy here and there, that’s just normal. What didn’t occur to me was that on our calendar were upcoming major events that would consume my time and they would include my evenings, or at least my energy levels come evening time. I was falling behind and there sat my Bible, notebook and pen, quietly calling to me. I had no time to give them. And there they sat.
And sat some more.
Until I almost completely forgot about it. Almost.
I made it a point to take it with me on our family camping trip. I even remembered to pack it. When we got there we were busy every day. Until one evening, bound and determined, I went to my tent, flung open the door, grabbed my book bag and headed straight for the picnic table. I was going to write SOMETHING, even if it wasn’t scheduled!
And I did.
And it was sweet.
And it was good.
And it was rewardingly worth it!
It wasn’t until yesterday morning that I finally picked it back up and finished writing chapter 7. As I sat back thinking of how long it’s taken for me to get this far I realized that it’s not about the duration, it’s about following through with the commitment.
There will be times I have enough time to write several verses in one sitting. There will be times I’ll only be able to write one or maybe there will even be days in between one verse at a time. And that’s ok.
Think of it this way:
Jesus IS the Word. He calls us to spend time with (in) Him. Just like any relationship, there are ebbs and flows but the whole point is that we keep coming back! Yet unlike other relationships, when we cultivate our relationship with (in) Jesus, we are cultivating our very lives to be more like Him. One thing I’ve been thinking about is how the Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, talks about how he wouldn’t have know he was sinning without the Law. The Law was written in the Torah and the Torah was to be read and studied by all Jews (believers). How can we know Jesus, if we don’t know His Word? He IS the Word!
So how does this all tie in to Bible translation? Think of the parallels I’ve been talking about here. Read what I’ve written from the perspective of Bible translation (if you haven’t already). Think about how these Bible translators live every day with the temptation of a busy life. Think about how they don’t get the privilege of deciding to put off translation. They need to be focused, stayed on their task, because for them it really is a matter of spiritual life and death. It reminds me of Romans 10, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”” (Isaiah 52:7)
I’m not called to the front lines of Bible translation in a remote village somewhere no one has ever heard of, (although I’d gladly go), but I am called to remember my brothers and sisters and to pray for them and for what God has called them to for the sake of the Gospel. As I write scripture, I’m not simply copying dead words. I’m meditating on and communing with the God who inspired them. I’m thinking of the men and women who are working tirelessly to translate just ONE VERSE of Life into their own tongue that more may hear and more may know and more may come to faith.
It’s a good thing.
What can you do to help?
1. Pray: The first and most important thing we can do is pray for the translators and their families and the people working in the ministries that help support the translators in the field. Pray for the Lord’s protection, wisdom, strength & provision as they seek to glorify Him and advance His kingdom with their work. And don’t forget to ask the Lord who you can be involved!
2. Support: Amazing organizations such as The Seed Company & OneVerse are working tirelessly to ensure Bible translation is taking place among the most remote places and the most remote people groups on the planet. With your support, we can change the world for Christ, one verse at a time!
3. Awareness: Ask the Lord what He would like you to do in order to raise awareness to help end Bible poverty. Perhaps it’s tweeting and adding your pictures to the Instagram group using the hashtags #endBiblepoverty & #writetheWord, or maybe setting aside some blog posts that are dedicated to this cause and linking up with this community? Be open to His leading and obey!
4. Take Action: Make a monetary donation, commit to praying for Bible translators and their families, pick a people group and their language to ‘adopt’ with some friends and make them a part of your family. Tell others what you’ve done and encourage them to partner for the need. Maybe the Lord is asking you to do something else, ask Him and see!
What am I doing?
Aside from committing to pray for the translators, families and ministry workers, I am handwriting the Bible. I have invited others to join me. I’m currently in the book of Matthew and have made it to chapter 8. Read about the beginnings here or click on “Write the Word” up in the header. That will take you to all of the posts about what I’m doing with this community.
Every bit counts! We can do this together, as a community, lifting up one another to the Father for strength, wisdom and perseverance.
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