I grew up in the small town of Cedarville, Ohio, which is also home to a small Christian Liberal Arts University, Cedarville University. This University had a wonderful man as President for 25 years that led it to new heights in the academic world and also in the area of Biblical leadership and cultural influence. Dr. James T. Jeremiah served as a Pastor before taking the responsibility of President and then Chancellor after retirement from Cedarville University. Growing up in this small town as a child, I knew Dr. Jeremiah and appreciated his godly influence from afar.
When I graduated from high school it seemed only logical for me to go to Cedarville University. As I went to school I also worked as a waitress at Perkins to help pay the bills. (God’s provision was evident through this time in my life, and even now I am amazed at how my God provided for my needs.) One morning as I was working I went to one of my tables to wait on a customer, and to my surprise and delight it was Dr. Jeremiah. I felt honored to take care of this great man that day. I learned as we shared together that he was on his way to visit his lovely wife, Ruby, in a nursing home. As he left that day, I felt like God had blessed me with honor of meeting Dr. Jeremiah and serving him breakfast. Imagine my delight the next week at the same time, Dr. Jeremiah was again at Perkins for breakfast on his way to visit Ruby. I don’t remember how many weeks after that I had the privilege of waiting on Dr. Jeremiah, but I knew that I had been blessed by being in his presence and seeing his faithfulness to his wife as he went to see her.
A few weeks ago, I needed some books related to my study on canonicity. As I was asking some people for resources and looking for various books, I came across a book written by Dr. Jeremiah, The Importance of Inspiration. I picked up that book and felt like I was holding a treasure. Here was a book that was written by a man highly esteemed, and I felt like I had been given a great gift. I read the book and every time I picked it up to read it, I pictured Dr. Jeremiah sitting in that booth at Perkins eating his breakfast on his way to visit his wife. I looked at that book as a special treasure.
As I opened my Bible one day, I thought do I look at God’s Word the same as I look at Dr. Jeremiah’s book? At that moment I felt saddened by my answer…no. It is not that I don’t read God’s Word every day and learn from it every day, but it had lost its preciousness to me. After all, I have access at my finger tips to a Bible on my phone, on my computer, and many in print form. Bibles are not scarce in America. With scarcity comes value.
As I talked with God about this and thought about this, I realized that I had taken God’s Word for granted. I enjoyed reading it every day, studying it, using it to teach the girls; but the awe had worn off. With this conviction on my heart I began to change my attitude. The Bible is God’s Word to me. Seems like a simple enough thought, but it had a profound impact. When I hold the Bible it is also a treasure.
There will probably come a day when this preciousness wears off again, but when it does I trust that the Holy Spirit will gently tell me to remember, “You are holding God’s Word to you. Don’t forget to cherish it.”