I attended college at a small private college, Barrington College, in Barrington, Rhode Island back in the 70's. I loved that college and loved my time there. I made wonderful friends for life. I grew in my relationship with Jesus and I earned a degree in social services.
I had many, many experiences at college during my 4 years there, some fun and some profound, but there is one simple experience that stood out and has remained with me all through my life. I was in class one morning, I don't even remember the class or the professors name, but I remember that he began the lecture by standing up in front of our class holding a Bible. He said, out of every book you will read at college, this is the only book that you will really need throughout your life and the only book that has all the answers for this life and the next. He then put his Bible down on the table and began the days lecture. WOW!!!! I have remembered that moment and what my professor said for the past 40 years. Over the past 40 years I have found his statement to be absolutely true! I have read the Bible from cover to cover and have studied it over the past 40 years and I still feel like I have only barely scratched the surface of what the Bible says. The Bible has been my guide throughout my life. It has addressed every situation or concern that I have had in my life. When I wasn't sure what to do, when I was feeling blessed or joyful, when I was worried or felt like things were getting out of control, I looked to my Bible and each and every time the Bible came through. I can honestly say that there has not been one situation in my life where the Bible left me wondering, questioning or unfulfilled. The Bible truly is the inspired word of a living, loving and Holy God and applies directly to every situation in life.
When my Mom was dying of cancer in 1989....it made absolutely no sense to me. My Mom was suffering. She couldn't talk, she couldn't eat and she was wasting away. My heart was broken. I turned to my Bible and began to read II Corinthians. I started in chapter one and just kept reading until I came to the end of II Corinthians chapter 4 verses 16-18. These verses say "Therefore we do not lose heart. Through outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal". I immediately knew that even though my Mom was wasting away on the outside, that on the inside she was being renewed. I knew that my Mom was getting ready to go to heaven and that I was not to lose heart. I knew that what ever suffering she was going through here on earth was only temporary and that very soon she would be blessed with eternal glory, forever and forever!! Praise God!!!
Just last week, I had the pleasure of working alongside one of our summer volunteers, Doreen. Doreen was here for a week to help out at Soaring Wings Ministries. She was a great volunteer because of her willingness to work hard, to jump right in and to do whatever needed to be done. Our project for the week was to take down some very weak, unnecessary and ugly fencing made of wire and metal posts. Had we been strong, young, muscular men it would have been an easy task to take down wire fencing and pull out fence posts, but neither she nor I are in our prime of life. Any strong muscles we once had were long gone but we did not let this deter us from our task. We cut, we dug, we pulled, we tugged and we untangled wire and fence posts. We worked standing up, we worked bent over and we worked on our hands and knees. We encouraged one another, we laughed (at one point we crashed our heads together when we bent over at the same time!). When one of us tired from digging, the other one would take over and when one of us had cramped hands from cutting wire the other one would take over. We got the task done and now we have a beautiful pasture without run down wire and fenceposts running through it. Did we end our task wishing that we never had to do that again? No! Quite the opposite....we both were very satisfied and thankful that with hard work we had accomplished our goal. Bottom line is that it felt good! After we finished our task my thoughts turned to the Bible verses in Ecclesiastes about hard work and working together. In verses 12 and 13 in chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes it says "I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all his toil...this is the gift of God". Chapter 4 verses 9 and 10 of Ecclesiastes says "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up." Those Bible verses sum up exactly how Doreen and I felt working together, side by side on a very difficult task. Once again the Bible had come through. The Bible clearly addressed hard work, joy in working hard, the benefits of working side by side with another person and the satisfaction of a job well done.
Pre teen volunteers are working here at Soaring Wings Ministries this week and yesterday one of the boys shared how good it felt to work hard and to have fun together while working. Aaaah.....the wisdom in the Bible to clearly address every situation in life....even hard work and the benefits of working side by side. Honestly, I would have hated pulling out all that wire and fencing posts by myself and I know the young man would have hated painting a shed all by himself but when working side by side with someone else a difficult task becomes much easier and even becomes a joy.
So my professor from my college days was right. He had read the Bible, applied it to his life and found it to be true. It had stood the test of time in his life and he shared this wisdom with his young college students. Now 40 years later...I have read the Bible, I have applied it to my life and I have found it to be true. I pass this wisdom on to let you know that the Bible is the only book that you will really need to read throughout your life and it is the only book that has all the answers for this life and the next.
With prayers that God will bless you and guide you as you read through your Bibles,
Soaring Wings Ministries
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries