My 4-year-old swallowed a nickel. Yes, a nickel. (kids!) My first mind was to get back under the dryer and finish my hair. Before you judge me, just know that I was sincerely convinced it would eventually come out the other end. Then, all the “what ifs” flowed through my mind, mainly “what if it gets lodged in her intestines and causes some sort of obstruction?” Next thing you know, the two of us are on the way to urgent care (wet, kinky hair and all!).
I thought the doctor would be concerned about the trek of the nickel through the winding and twisting parts of the intestines. Not so much. Turns out, the real danger is the trek of the nickel through the air ways. The doctor explained that we needed to see that her throat was not blocked in any way. She said that once it reaches the stomach Olivia would be just fine.
The x-ray showed that the nickel was indeed well past her airways and into the lower part of her stomach. They then gave her something to drink to further confirm choking was no longer an issue and sent us home with orders to literally look for the nickel to pass in her bowels within the next 24 to 48 hours.
As I explained this event to the countless family members and friends who were eager for updates on Olivia’s condition, I thought more and more about this darn nickel and its presence in my baby’s stomach. What an image! And how about that doctor’s “sense of relief” when she saw that it was in her stomach?!
Then I realized something special! The passages in the Word of God work the same way as this passage of this nickel. If we could just get it down into our stomachs, we too would be just fine! If we could just get it beyond our eyes, ears, mouths, and into our hearts and minds we too would be just fine. If we could get to the other side of the time constraints, social media distractions, fatigue, lack of interest, and even our frustration with understanding how these ancient readings apply to our real-life “how am I going to pay my bills” kind of issues we face today—we too would be just fine.
We think that our lives are too wound up and twisted for this compilation of Greek and Hebrew historical accounts to have a real tangible impact on us. When we are facing divorce, unemployment, disease, discrimination, the loss of a loved one, a rebellious child, depression, a bully at school, drama at work, and corruption everywhere else, this book of 66 chapters of “Thou shalt not this . . .” and “Thou shalt not that. . .” is, in all honesty, the last source some of us think to consult.
Well, let me challenge your logic the way the doctor challenged mine. In one of Paul’s letters to Timothy, he told Timothy that every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word, we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us (2 Tim 3:14-17 MSG). We need to just get it to the “stomach.”
What does that mean?
It means this: we need to read it every day. Select a few scriptures. Read them. Think about them. Ask these 3 questions:
- Who is talking?
- To whom are they talking?
- What are they saying?
Jot down those answers. Pray. End it with your favorite worship song. Get up and get ready for your day. This is how we get the passages of the Bible beyond the parts of us where it chokes us up and deep into the parts of us where it will come out and impact our lives and the lives of those around us in a real, tangible, and transforming way.