Ok let's back up. I know what you're thinking. WHY would I be thinking that I'm going to be thrown into prison?? Well, I don't plan on it happening ever. Actually though, I did recently have a dream that I stole a breakfast sandwich from a food vendor at a Les Miserables show and got in trouble with the law. A BREAKFAST SANDWICH??!?? Yes, a breakfast sandwich. To be fair, in the dream, it took them 30 long minutes to make the dang breakfast sandwich and I was exercising my right to complain about bad service by refusing to pay. So I ran off with the sandwich and left the local law enforcement trailing in hot pursuit.
Anyway, aside from some possible stolen sandwiches, I really don't think I'll be going to prison any time soon. Buuuuut the point is, I often wonder if I know and have studied enough of the Bible to last me through hard times (and if God forbid I was stuck somewhere without being able to read the Bible.... again, not likely.)
The Bible talks a lot about knowing God's word, and having it in your heart. So reading it isn't just about reading it, but deeply knowing it -- having the words written on your heart and mind so that you can bring those words to mind when you need it, or when a friend needs it. There have been several times in my life when I was struggling or suffering or sorrowful or anxious or depressed, and God met me in those moments with his presence manifested through his words. Verses that sometimes I knew, and verses that sometimes I didn't even know I knew would pop into my head at just the right time. And these words are always balm to my soul.
Here are a few verses on knowing God's word:
Romans 10:8 - The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.
Deuteronomy 6:6 - And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
Psalm 119:11 - I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Colossians 3:16 - Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly.
John 14:26 - But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
John 15:27 - If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Michael knows how much I cherish and love to memorize verses (and poems, and quotes, and anything that moves me.... typically on the subject of love or friendship.) So for our third anniversary, he had our friend Jenn write down one of my favorite passages from Psalm 73. Jenn took a calligraphy class and in general has perfect handwriting, so I know it was going to be good, but I was still blown away by her writing when I saw it. Auuuuuhhhh maaaaaaaayyy zzzzzinng.
This little framed piece is my new favorite possession. I see it on my bookshelf every day, and therefore read it and am reminded of these verses every day. It's a win-win: Pretty words on pretty paper in a pretty frame, annnnd re-reading these words every day makes them more and more impressed on my heart and mind and ready to call into action when necessary.
Bottom line: if you ever hear that I've been thrown in prison, please send me a Bible. But know that I'll be alright without one, too. These words are written on my mind and heart.
(ps. Happy birthday to my favorite brother in the whole world!!)