Recently as I was cleaning out a dresser drawer, I found a plain dingy white handkerchief neatly folded in the back corner. As I lifted it from its abode of many years, I felt a small lump in the center of the fold. For the life of me, I could not remember what I had tucked away so neatly in that handkerchief. I concluded that it must be a special treasure long forgotten.
I looked at it in my hand. I lay it on the dresser top and gently ran my fingers over the tiny bump once again. Was it a first tooth that belonged to one of my babies, valuable only to a mother? Perhaps it was a diamond or another precious gem once enclosed in a ring or necklace. I must unfold this prize carefully. I could not grab it by the corner and carelessly sling it open, for the precious treasure inside may go flying across the room, never to be discovered again.
I thought of our daughter, Jamie. After her passing, I lowered many boxes she had stored in our attic, each filled with sweet memories, mementoes special to her from her growing-up years, and hundreds of letters and cards. Her cedar chest was filled to over-flowing with pictures, baby clothes and toys from her children, and miscellaneous odds and ends from her missionary adventures. Over time, I very carefully unfolded each piece, slowly read every word, gently held every souvenir, remembering her, and asking myself the question, “Why did she save this?” I knew the answer. It was because the item was important to her. And because it was important and precious to her, it was valuable and dear to me. Why? Because Jamie was my daughter.
As we unfold God’s Word together, we must do so reverently, examine each phrase, and ask ourselves, “Why did God put this in the Bible?” We can be sure that every word in His Book is there for a reason. And because God is God and Jesus Christ is His Son, every word is precious and life-giving and more valuable than we could ever imagine. God’s Word deserves our time, attention, and reflection.
I slowly and gently unfold the handkerchief, hold my breath, eyes glued on the treasure about to come to light. I smile and I remember. It was a tiny gold heart with my birthstone in the center on a very fine gold chain now in a knot that only a jeweler could untangle. My father, who has lived in heaven many years now, gave me that necklace when I was a little girl. Beautiful.
“The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130).