The room was dark as I tip toed out. I didn’t want to wake anyone, more so, I didn’t want to be seen. If only they could hear the raging debate inside my head. In my socks, I slipped down the hall to the stairwell and descended down the steps. It was eerily cold but I was determined — food could no longer fix this. Busyness didn’t silence the raging confusion. Not even my friends could settle it and there wasn’t a single preacher on the planet I trusted with these questions.
So I pressed on in the dim security light to study room 6.
The plain industrial carpet and single square laminate table accompanied by one black plastic chair spoke something about the 80’s. I stood there for a moment surveying the room, the stale silence amplified my fears but in a way, I liked the solitude. The battle I faced could only be settled in a one on one.
Just me and the Word.
I had heard enough. My childhood had been filled with Bible stories and I’d memorized John 3:16. I knew how to pray and when to raise my hands in worship. I could speak all the lingo and had played all the games.
But for what? A wounded soul? A broken family? I didn’t know who to listen to anymore, or what to believe.
Things had been said, values shifted, leaving my doctrine wadded into scraps and my theology in a tailspin. I was frantic for truth.
Whirling in the wake of mere mens words, I turned to the only place I knew. Despite my doubt and confusion, beyond my pain, I knew one thing – if the lies I’d been listening to had any truth to them they would be found here in His word. One of two things would happen here – the lie would be confirmed or the truth found out. Either way, I was going to know before my first class.
Flustered and angry I sat down at that laminate table and turned to the concordance in the back.
It was a rather simple question really, What does the Bible really say about ____? But what happened next blew my heart wide open. As I read scripture after scripture on that particular topic I not only found the surface answer, but I found a place to ground my soul.
I had been stuck in a wasteland, a desert of doubt, left to starve and shrivel up. The passages of scripture I read that day radiated off the page, shining light into the depths of my struggle. It was a divine experience, as if someone had taken my parched soul and planted it right next to a mountain spring of crisp water. I didn’t just find answers, I found manna.
Jesus experienced something very similar while drying up in the desert himself. In the midst of the trial He quoted Moses. “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) Jesus was starving, it had been forty days of nothing but water. I don’t know anyone who can go forty days without anything, not even juice, but the Son of God survived.
That word He quoted in that moment was something Moses had said a thousand years before. Moses had taken an entire nation into the wilderness. They left behind crops that grew fruit and grains, fields that fed livestock. Now they were out in the middle of no-mans land with nothing but goats milk and wild turkey. These people were starving.
But God showed up. Every single morning. Fresh manna (bread) miraculously appeared near their wilderness camp every day. Basket after Basket filled to the brim. It held them together, it gave them energy and no doubt reminded them that they were covered by the Lord God Almighty. It was more than bread, it was God’s presence. Moses witnessed every saving act, he shared every rhema word. The man knew what he was talking about. God spoke and Israel lived. (see Deut. 8:2-5)
God provided manna for the Israelites in the wilderness, He sustained them by His word. And later, that very God-inspired word of Moses provided hope and assurance for Jesus when He needed it most, in the wilderness.
His word provides for you too. The Word is alive and active for us today. Everything you need to live fully and freely in Him is found in that leather bound book. Yes, YOU, go ahead, test Him in this. His Word will fill up those desperate places you can’t even describe, it will answer your hardest questions, more so it will ground you in the midst of those doubt storms. And it will light the steps in front of you as you wonder where to go from here.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. …The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1,14
(psst: come back tomorrow where we’ll talk about HOW to study the Word- and maybe you’ll win a Journaling Bible!!)