by Linda Cox

Picture this:  Husband and wife in tractor cab. Wife reading instruction manual to husband. Husband following instructions, trying to calibrate monitor used in planting soybeans.

It is only after the conclusion of planting season, though, that the calibration is actually completed—when the husband finds AND reads the second manual for the monitor. It was then he was heard to mutter, “If I’d only read these instructions earlier.”

Yes, ladies, this is true, for I am that wife! And, please, go ahead and smile. I certainly did.

But as we smile, I also wonder how many times we neglect to read the “instruction manual” God has provided for us. We forge ahead, attempting to figure things out on our own—trying to cope with worry, fear, or temptation; trying to understand the why of illness and death, injustice and unforgiveness. We agonize, grasping for solutions of our own making until, all too often as a last resort, we turn to the Bible. We might even be heard to say, “If I’d only read this earlier.”

What an amazing gift God has given us in the Bible. We find “everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3) in the pages of this book. We learn that “the Word of God is living and active” (Hebrews 4:12) as it gives us new insights every time we study it! And, as we read the Bible, we come to know Jesus—Creator, Redeemer, and Lord—“in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).

Many Bibles and other publications have lists of “where to find it in the Bible” so we can easily find passages to read when we are discouraged, angry, worried, afraid, bitter, unforgiving, tempted, sick, persecuted, too busy, or undecided. There is help awaiting those who need courage, strength, faith, hope, peace, joy, patience, forgiveness, and love, as well as comfort for those who are lonely, grieving, hassled and weary. The list could go on and on because “all Scripture is God-breathed and … useful” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Now, picture this:  Each of us opening God’s Instruction Manual every day, finding all we need to know Him and be thoroughly equipped to live the life for which He created and saved us. AND not being heard to say, “If I’d only read these instructions earlier.”

(Happy Birthday to my wonderful hubby. Love you, Dear!)