I was looking in Google images for a picture of a Bible. As I looked I saw row after row of them in different settings. As my eyes were going back and forth on the screen my eyes STOPPED! I jetted away from the image because it was horrible. Gingerly, I went back to look at it, there I saw the picture of a hand that had been mutilated by a paper shredder. SHUDDER! How horrible! The small title was something about reading the Bible. I clicked on the pic, as the site loaded, I only half looked at the screen, there was that pic at the very top of a person’s blog. I read the article and it claimed that the picture of the mutilated hand belonged to a Christian pastor in Saudi Arabia, he was punished for reading the Bible by getting his hand mutilated.
The picture was an awful shock; the reason I was looking for a picture of the Bible was that I am participating in the 40 Days In the Word study. Every morning I go to the 40 Day site, I learn and am encouraged by God’s Word, an inspiring video and tips on helping me to abide in Christ through His Word. Then that morning, I was going to post what I had learned, what was encouraging and then BAM! Shocking to my senses, I saw what happens to people that read God’s Word. That particular day I had read “Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things in your law.” It took me back for a moment, all the joy of finding the wondrous things in His law was gone. My imagination immediately went to the poor, suffering soul who had been cruelly punished for reading the Bible. I imagined his life today, how would that ever heal? What would be the long term effects, on and on my mind traveled.
Farther and farther, my mind traveled away from the wondrous law of God.
I love God’s Word, it’s the one thing in my life that I have that I count on to be constant, everything in this life can change in the blink of an eye but His Word is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. His Word is my plumb line, my direction to the one place that everything else is measured against. And yet, here was this disturbing consequence for reading it.
Emotionally I was stunned, I put down God’s Word and that day I considered what all that meant.
Not wanting to obsess about it, knowing my brothers and sisters are being martyred for their faith,
I prayed to the author of my faith.
A bit of fresh air started blowing through my mind, I started questioning that photo. I remembered what it looked like, considered a few points that seemed inconsistent. I went back to Google and I made the query “Hands mutilated for reading the Bible” This and that came up, the same pic came up many times, I read several articles but one person’s comment on one of the articles claimed the photo was an industrial prop for a machine safety campaign. WHAT?! That got me started and before I knew it I had found that the pic was NOT a person’s hand from reading the Bible. Whew! What relief! I was so happy for the imagined person.
Further reading did show that in reality, there really are machines used in Sharia law for thieves and their hands are put in there as their punishment. That is verifiable. Horrifying but true.
My point to this post –
I think I had been distracted from God’s Word. I had been on a good role and BAM! Doubt started creeping in. Ah, the enemy.
The LORD has since shown me that the whole incident had been a ruse but He used it to strengthen me. He allowed that misguided person with their blog to help me compare my belief in His Word to horrible things.
The LORD helped me take my Bible reading and love of the Bible past a vision of cruel torture. The LORD was training me to see past the things of this world. Even the horrible things. He also taught me to take everything to Him in prayer, because when I prayed it was then I was able to see clearly and have proper discernment.
With eyes more aware, I will continue, with great thanksgiving, my 40 Day journey in His Word. By His Holy Spirit I will be lead to strength, and only by His Holy Spirit I will love God’s Word, despite the terrors of this world. By His Holy Spirit, I will be renewed and made more like Him.
Because, He is able to do it.
Whew! What a lesson. Can’t wait till we can all be in heaven together.