August 07, 2008

God's Word Is Strong

Matthew 24:32-35

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
Matthew 24:35


In May 2007, The Banner published a story about Mariama, a young woman whose cancer formed large, disfiguring tumors on her face. Her emotional and physical pain was excruciating at times. The Islamic people in her village in Guinea, West Africa, believed that her tumors were the result of a curse. Mariama could be a demanding patient to the Chris-tians who helped her. But they didn't give up. Besides tending to her open sores, they talked with her, prayed with her, and read to her from the Bible. At first Mariama didn't like hearing Scripture. She said that when someone read to her from “the book,” she felt excruciating pain and had tormenting dreams. But over time, as she cried out to God for help, she found that relief came for her only in hearing the Scriptures. Weeks before she passed away, when she was so weak that she could barely walk, she insisted that the Koranic teacher in her village needed “to know about Jesus and this book.” She and a friend visited the teacher, who asked for a copy of the Scriptures. As Mariama faced death, she was not afraid. This spoke powerfully to others from her village who now also come to hear “the book” read to them. Many are learning to read it, and even the Koranic teacher is reading to villagers from the Bible. God's Word is powerful!

Lord, keep my face in your Word each day. I am weak, but your Word is strong. Help me to share your Word with others, and may we grow strong in your love. Amen.

About the author — Mark Stephenson

Rev. Mark Stephenson is the Director of Disability Concerns for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Previously he served in two congregations in Michigan. He and his wife have four children.

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