A few weeks ago, an opportunity arose just at the time I was praying to give a special gift for our oldest Granddaughter’s 10th Birthday. Biblegateway.com offered a chance for all of its BloggerGrid members to review their newest Journaling Bible for girls ages 8 – 12.
Wow! I thought! This opportunity could be sent from God in answer to my prayers. But then I saw the dates for review, and my heart sank. In order to qualify, bloggers had to agree to have their review posted on their site before April 10. The dates were smack in the middle of my current RA infusion Schedule. I knew that for most of those weeks when I would need to be reviewing the Bible, I would be suffering the after-effects of flu-like pain and weariness.
And yet, I could not stop thinking about that Bible. I asked a few friends to pray. I asked my husband to pray, and the answer kept ringing in my heart: This was the gift I had been praying for.
And so before I go any farther, let me add the proper legal requirements. I was given The NIV Artisan Collection Bible for Girls without cost for being a member of the BibleGateway BloggerGrid Community, #BibleGatewayPartner. However, any opinions that I express in this review are purely my own.
If you have been following me, then you know about the recent update to my infusion schedule. Just days after I had surrendered to keep going forward with the treatment and the after-effects involved, a fresh surrender was put before me. My Rheumatologist had to cancel all of those scheduled treatments and put me back on a higher dose of Prednisone until this Covid-19 Pandemic clears up. While I was struggling to accept those delays, God reminded me of the timing of this review.
Then another friend invited me to join her for a 24-hour fast of Social Media to seek God’s mercy & grace for our world, on the weekend that the Bible was awaiting my review. One of the requirements for review was to share photos of how we would use the journaling portion of the Bible. Perfect activities–journaling God’s Word as I was praying over the life of one special 10-year old and for the burdens of so many in this world right now!
As I pulled out my journaling supplies, I felt that truly, these were gifts of God’s timing in the middle of such bleak times that the world is staggering under. He is still our Sovereign Lord, with purposes that we might not even begin to grasp. But our faith can find a resting place in this passage that has become part of my Life-Chapter:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
And then my heart was overwhelmed as I paused to see God’s grace through His Word that He has preserved for us. From generation to generation, the Lord has allowed us to share the messages that speak such life to us:
We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.Psalm 78:4 NIV
I found this Bible to be beautiful, with an easy-to-read font style. There was plenty of room in the side-margins to add artwork and/or journaling. The only concern I have is the extreme thinness of the pages. If this is to be a Bible for 8 – 12 year old girls, it seems to me that a thicker paper would have been much easier to work with. However, with that said, I chose to make my art-work on a separate piece of paper, sized to fit the margin, and then glued onto the page.
I found such a gift from the Lord as He enabled these shaky, arthritic hands to draw, to write, to cut, and to paste. Every bit of creativity has become such a blessing to me.
And every bit of sharing of the Word of our God has become such a privilege to me also. I take nothing for granted these days. What seemed like it would always just be there, has become more precious for each one of us during this recent trial. What my chronic illness began preparing in me has only become so much more dear over these recent weeks.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV
We have this treasure hidden in jars of clay, within our own frail bodies, and yet, we are meant to share that treasure, that gift of our Lord’s mercy and love. May He bless His Word within our hearts today.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for giving us the gift of Your written Word. Thank You that the gift of Your Son, Jesus, is the Living Word for us, sent to show us the depth of Your love. Will You help us to cling to You and Your faithful promises that You have spoken to us in Your Word? In these days that feel so heavy and dark, will You lift our eyes to know that YOUR ways are so high? Help us to pray for the next generation that is looking up to us. Help us to hug them with Your Words. Help us to love them to You.
In the name of Your son, Jesus, we pray,
If you would like more information about the NIV Artisan Collection Bible, and the many options available for purchase, click here to go to the Biblegateway’s site. And if you would like more information about the many great benefits and Bible study options at the Biblegateway site, click here.