I am an avid reader.
I read everything.
I've been this way as long as I can remember. In fact, in second grade my teacher thought I had a problem with reading, because I couldn't read out loud. She spoke to my parents, who promptly told my teacher the books I was reading at home – (evidently "War and Peace" isn't "usual" 2nd grade reading material – NO, I am totally kidding). Turns out it was wasn't so much a "reading" problem as much as it was a *shyness* problem…
I'm also in a neighborhood Book Club that meets once a month. We commit to reading a book each month that the group has voted on. (In case you're interested, we're reading "Fingersmith" by Sarah Waters this month).
There is an unwritten rule that the book must be read. No, if you don't read the book you won't be kicked out of the group automatically. But, you will have to face the disdainfully disappointed faces that stare at you in contempt. (It's not unlike going to the dentist and the hygienist asks if you've been flossing every day – you hang your head and mumble guiltily, "No.")
So, I read.
One month I finished an entire book (well over 500 pages) in one 10-hour marathon. Yes, I fear the faces…
But it's also a lot more fun to participate in the lively discussion that ensues.
I'm also a book purist.
I do not read the last page.
I do not skip pages.
I read any foreword or preface.
I looked up those two words, by the way. Learned something new:
Preface – A preliminary statement or essay introducing a book that explains its scope, intention, or background and is usually written by the author.
Foreword – A preface or an introductory note, as for a book, especially by a person other than the author.
So, a foreword is usually written by someone else – a preface is usually written by the author.
A preface can give you some valuable information. It gives you a *feel* for the author, and for the direction they are going to be sending you. It gives you a *window* into their mindset when they wrote the book – and it often provides a hint of their writing style. They are quite often very entertaining in themselves.
I like reading them.
But today, I'm thinking about the actual word – preface. Being Mrs. English Major, I'm looking at that word, and breaking it down into its parts.
PRE – FACE.
"Pre" is actually a prefix – (yes, some irony in that – pre is a PREfix…). It means:
Earlier than : prior to : before : preparatory or prerequisite to : in advance : beforehand : in front of
"Face" as in "to face something" is defined this way:
To confront with complete awareness : To overcome by confronting boldly or bravely.
Lots of introductory information here, dear readers. Consider it my preface to the blog post!
Here's what I'm thinking.
Jesus is my preface.
And here's all the reasons why.
He literally is the pre-beginning to all that there is. He is the Eternal One – the one who precedes, predates everything.
In the Bible, He is also named the *firstfruits* of all believers.
"But the fact is that Christ (the Messiah) has been raised from the dead, and He became the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep [in death]."
(1 Corinthians 15:20, AMP)
Jesus is the first one to be raised from the dead into the new incorruptible body that we are all destined to inherit.
But, He is also something more.
Jesus is the One who PRE-FACES everything that happens in my life.
He is the One who has known every single day of my life since before I was born. There isn't a day on my calendar that surprises Him – (rumor has it that He owns a heavenly Dayplanner – all filled in!).
He's been there before, in advance, in preparation.
He goes into each moment knowing what's coming.
He's the best One to help me – because He will walk in front of me. Like the cloud of smoke by day, the pillar of fire by night.
And He will face it all with me.
He will confront my battles, my sufferings, my temptations, my fears with complete awareness. And it is only by His Spirit that I will be able to overcome these things with brave boldness.
I am daunted by many things – many feelings, many thoughts, many situations – in my life. But, the Lord is not intimidated by any of it. He holds the keys to Life and Death, after all. He has defeated the power of the Grave. He has firmly sealed my soul for eternity.
With Him on my side, what else should I fear?
(Note: The correct answer is pretty much NO ONE, NO THING…nothing)
Jesus is the preface to the story of my life.
He really is the ultimate "Been there, done that" guy.
I am so overwhelmed with gratitude by the fact that I do not walk alone. I am so awed by His omniscient presence in my life. I am trying to be humble in my submission to the One who covers my every step with His loving providence.
I'm not sure how my story is going to end – (remember, even if I could, I don't read the last page of ANY book!)
But Jesus does.
And I know Him.
So He can be my Preface – my PRE-FACE.
He's the Author of my story, after all.
I'll let Him determine the plot outcome!
What are you facing or fearing today that you need Jesus to go before you?
"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Linked today with:
Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY
Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS
Laura at BRAG ON GOD FRIDAY
(A little disclaimer: I was exaggerating about the Book Club girls - they're really great!!)
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"