Thursday, September 4, 2008

Read This Book

I have started reading The Heavenly Man again.  It is the testimony of 
Liu Zhenying, also known as Brother Yun.  It is so good.  I have to share some of it with you.

     ...At first, I didn't really know who Jesus was, but I'd seen him heal my father and liberate our family.  I confidently committed myself to the God who had healed my father and saved us.  During that time I frequently asked my mother who Jesus truly was.  She told me, "Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross for us, taking all our sins and sicknesses.  He recorded all his teachings in the Bible."
     I asked if there were any words of Jesus left that I could read for myself.  She replied, "No.  All his words are gone.  There is nothing left of his teaching."  This was during the Cultural Revolution when Bibles could not be found.
     From that day on I earnestly wanted to have a copy of my own Bible.  I asked my mother and fellow Christians what a Bible looked like, but no one knew.  One person had seen some hand copied Scripture portions and song sheets, but never a whole Bible.  Only a few old believers could recall seeing Bibles many years before.  The Word of God was scarce in the land.
     I was so hungry for a Bible.  Seeing my desperation, my mother remembered an old man who lived in another village.  This man had been a pastor before the Cultural Revolution.
     Together we started out on the long walk to his home.  When we found him we told him our desire, "We long to see a Bible.  Do you have one?"
     He immediately looked fearful.  This man had already spent nearly 20 years in prison for his faith.  He looked at me and saw that I was so young and poor, with tattered clothes and bare feet.  He felt compassion, but still didn't want to show me his Bible.
     I don't blame him because in those days there were very few Bibles in the whole of China.  Nobody was allowed to read any book other than Mao's little Red Book.  If caught with a Bible, it would be burned and the owner's whole family would be severely beaten in the middle of the village.
     The old pastor simply told me, "The Bible is a heavenly book.  If you want one, you'll need to pray to the God of heaven.  Only he can provide you a heavenly book.  God is faithful.  He always answers those who seek him with all of their heart."
     I fully trusted the pastor's words.
     When I returned home I brought a stone into my room and knelt down on it every evening for prayer.  I had just one simple prayer: "Lord, please give me a Bible.  Amen."  At that time I didn't know how to pray, but I continued for more than one month.
     Nothing happened.  A Bible didn't appear.
     I went back to that pastor's house again.  This time I went alone.  I told him, "I've prayed to God according to your instructions, but I still haven't received the Bible I want so much.  Please, please show me your Bible.  Just a glance and I will be satisfied!  I don't need to touch it.  You hold it and I will be content just to look at it.  If I could copy down some of the words I will return home happy."
     The pastor saw the anxiety of my heart.  He spoke to me again, "If you're serious, then you should not only kneel down and pray to the Lord, you should also fast and weep.  The more you weep the sooner you'll get a Bible."
     I went home, and every morning and afternoon I ate and drank nothing.  Every evening I ate just one small bowl of steamed rice.  I cried like a hungry child to his heavenly Father, wanting to be filled with his Word.  For the next one hundred days I prayed for a Bible, until I could bear it no more.  My parents were sure I was losing my mind.
     Looking back years later, I would say this whole experience was the most difficult thing I've ever endured.
     
How many Bibles do I have?  Too many to count.  Plus I have tools like Bible dictionaries and concordances.  I have access to Bible Gateway on the internet.  I have an overflowing feast of God's Word in my home while others like Brother Yun are starving.  And to my shame I neglect His Word.

Tomorrow I'll share Brother Yun's vision and how his prayer was answered.  But if you have Amazon Prime, that might be quicker for you.  Seriously, get this book.  It will challenge you, and humble you, and inspire you.

4 comments:

Debbie said...

Seems like lots of us are up late tonight :)

I love your past few posts. I was really inspired by Janet Pope's book, too. I memorized several chapters in Colossians before taking a 'hiatus'. You're encouraging me to get back at it!

And not to take the glory away from Lea....but I'm pretty sure I introduced her to that book!
Sheesh...

Laura said...

Two posts in one day? Are you trying for extra points or something?

lea said...

WOW- that was very moving! i must know when he got a Bible....

Meg in Tally said...

How convicting? Makes me think the same as you --we have all these riches (Bibles,etc.) and don't use them like we should!

After you finish that book, read one by KP Yohannon...also convicting!