As I look back over my fifty-eight years of life, I am amazed at the brevity of life. Time passes so quickly, and it seems like a short time ago that we arrived in Leavenworth, Kansas. However it has been nineteen years since our move here from Seattle. It is now September of this year, but it seems like last month it was New Year’s Day and last week summer was just beginning. In the blink of an eye, the year will be over.
One of the blessings I have experienced from our nursing home church is a greater awareness of the preciousness of time. We have many dear friends who never planned on being in a nursing home, but there they are. Some are there temporarily as they rehabilitate after an injury or surgery, but most know it is the last place they will live on this earth. The days of driving their cars where they would like to go are gone. Now they have a much smaller set of wheels attached to their chairs and another is pushing them.
Even the simple choice of what one wants to have for a meal is no longer theirs. There may be an option of roast chicken or pot pie, but if you are hungry for a taco or pizza and it isn’t on the menu it isn’t going to happen. You don’t even choose when you want to bathe because someone else comes and tells you it is your turn.
How long before each of us has our own private “push-chair” with wheels, and we are living in a group home of some sort? Maybe some think that their children will care for them when it is needed, when in reality that may or may not happen. Things change, and there is nothing sure about life except we are in the process of dying.
In Job chapter one, we read how Job had a wonderful life but in one day, it was totally changed. His seven sons and three daughters were killed, and his vast livestock holdings lost to thieving bands and “acts of God.” Life had been good, and then suddenly it all was destroyed. Yet, Job said, “. . . Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). In a moment of time, life was forever changed for Job.
Then, it went from bad to worse for Job because he next lost his health when he was covered with horrible sores all over his body. “So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown” (Job 2:7). Job looked so hideous that his “friends” hardly recognized him. Job’s suffering was so bad that he mourned the day he was born and wished for death. What a change, and it occurred so quickly.
Yet, with all of Job’s hardships, Job was able to praise God. In Job 1:21 he said, “… blessed be the name of the LORD.” Then in Job 2:10, Job exhibits amazing maturity and understanding when he tells his wife “. . . shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” We need Job’s strength of spirit to deal with the difficulties of life that come our way.
At times we see that strength of spirit in our dear brothers and sisters in the Lord at the nursing home when they face trials and suffering. We see that strength in those who have made it their custom to be heavily in the Word of God through their lives. The Bible gives us God’s perspective on life and strengthens our spirit when we face problems and challenges.
Maybe you are having your personal and family time in the Word every day. However, there may be other times available that you could listen to the Bible, but you have not thought of those possibilities. I have Scripture available to me all day everywhere during my day, except in the shower. We are so blessed to be living in a time when God’s Word is readily accessible to us constantly. I have a Bible at my desk, in the bathroom, living room, bedroom, in my vehicles, and on my person. The blessings Scripture offer us come from the reading or hearing it and then obeying.
Since life is busy, we often can’t sit down to read the Bible once we begin the day, however, we might be able to listen to it. Several examples of this from my life would be when I’m doing projects that don’t require a lot of concentration such as painting, yard work, or cleanup of some sort. There are other times when we are driving, and no one is talking to me that I can listen to Scripture. There were times when we were working on the bus that we had Scripture being read in the background via an MP3 player. The children loved it. Now I’m always on the lookout for times when I can turn Scripture on.
Years ago, I purchased a New Testament on CD, which I used for a long time. I woke up to it every morning, and the only negative was that I was tempted to lie in bed listening to it. More recently, a brother introduced me to the New Testament on an MP3 player. I now have it on my cell phone and on an iPod. It is a delight to my soul when I have Scripture playing. I have to use a warm compress on my eyes every day and taking the time to do that was such a nuisance. However, now I’ve started listening to Scripture during the five minutes I do that and what was a bother, is now a blessing.
The website where I downloaded the New Testament from is FaithComesbyHearing.com. They have the New Testament available in both non-drama and slightly dramatized versions. The dramatized version has some voices that you may not prefer, but both versions are very well done. One example I remember of using a wrong voice is in Revelation when they used some female voices for angels. However, if in doubt go with the non-dramatized version. With MP3 players becoming quite inexpensive, this is a wonderful way to be able to hear the Word of God more throughout the day.
May I encourage you to evaluate your day for ways that you can more fully incorporate reading Scripture or listening to it? Personal and family Bible times are the essentials and starting blocks. Build from there using CD players, MP3 players, and other medias that are available in your home and vehicle. Time passes quickly. Presently, you can make the choices as to how your time is spent, but one never knows about the future. If you invest time in the Word of God, you will find blessings for you now and in the future. As your heart and mind is bathed in the Word of God, I believe you will experience spiritual growth, strength for times of trial, and a heart at peace.