My cell phone rang as we drove down the road towards home. The ring tone let me know that it was one of our two daughters calling. Frantically, I dug around my overstuffed purse, found the phone and answered, “Hey, baby! How are you?”
“I’m good. Listen, I have to go to work soon, so I am calling for my happy thought,” she said.
My heart stopped. Tears stung my eyes. Thank you, God, I thought, I love you so much. I grabbed the little New Testament I happened to have in my bag, opened up to Psalms 103:8-14, and proceeded to read these words of hope and love. After the call was over, I leaned my head back and praised God for the miracle He had just performed.
When I rededicated my life to God, I confessed to Him that I had not left the best legacy behind for my children. They knew very little about the Bible and real faith in God, so I tried to amend the damage I felt I’d done. Frustrated by the sight of dust-covered inspirational books thrown in the corner of their apartment, I threw my hands up and asked God what I should do. The answer came so clearly. I imagined God smiling at me with a “See-what-happens-when-you-finally-ask-Me” kind of smile. You see, I had shared the wrong books. I needed to share God’s Word.
I have had a love affair with books my entire life. Unfortunately, for me, I had never established a habit of reading the Bible until after the death of my mother.
It was during one of these daily readings that I came across Hebrews 4:12
“For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (NASB)
The author’s passionate words seared through my mind like a hot poker. Suddenly, every verse I had ever read about the Word being Life and Truth came tumbling into my mind. I wanted so much for the girls, now ages nineteen and twenty-one, to feel what I was feeling. I am convinced that God brought me to this verse in Hebrews to show me that there was nothing on earth more powerful than His Word.
Since phone calls were our major form of communication, I decided to take a radical step. On January 26, I began reading a verse of Scripture to both of our daughters every day. I called it their “Happy Thought.” At first, it was hard to do. I was scared. I could not understand why my palms would sweat or why I would struggle to find the right passage.
I fought hard against the enemy, who consistently whispered in my ear, “They aren’t listening to you! They are laughing as you are reading. They are only placating you.” There were actually times when I thought, “No, if they don’t want to hear it, then I will not waste my time.” How arrogant! Can you imagine? Not reading God’s Word to someone because you think the other person might not listen? Was I going to let what others thought of me stop me from doing something I knew God wanted? Obviously, I needed help. I knew I should ask God to increase my faith, but what would I feel? What did it really mean?
I asked Him to make faith real to me. I pleaded with Him to show me the meaning. True to His Word, He did just that. Hidden in the back of my bookcase, I found an old handbook called, “Now Faith Is…” by Carroll N. Blakeslee, evangelist. (How direct is that?) Written in 1949, Mr. Blakeslee explained faith by first identifying the feeling we have when we walk into a dark room and reach for the light switch. We fully expect the light to come on and the darkness to be gone. This, he wrote, is faith. He goes on to say that as we approach the throne of God, we must copy that feeling of expectation. Without it, our petitions are in vain. Likewise, how could I expect the girls to respond to His Word if I did not adopt a feeling of expectation every time I read to them?
Praise God! Here we are four months later and the Word of God is growing in their lives. Now, they even call for their “Happy Thought.” If I had given into pride and been more concerned about seeing the results of my actions, I would have missed the blessings and the “faith-gains” He had in store for me and them. By exercising the faith I professed to have, God revealed Himself in ways I never expected. Just as I anticipate the light to come on as I reach for the switch, I have learned to look forward to the next blessing when I get on my knees.