“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.”

Psalms 16:1 ESV

 

Libraries have always been a special place for me. There’s something about the shelves being lined with books containing words from creative minds that’s inviting. People were inspired to tell a story, perhaps their story, to the world. But of all the magical tales, thrillers, mysteries, poems, and biographies that fill the library shelves around the world, my favorite book remains the same. The Bible. 

    Now, I understand many people don’t read the Bible, nor does every library carry a precious copy in their system, but that doesn’t change the significance of this book. It wasn’t until I visited the United Kingdom (specifically Dublin, Ireland) that my amazement for God’s Word grew. 

    On my first full day in Dublin, I visited Marsh’s Library. It was opened in the 16th century and was Dublin’s first public library. The library now contains over 25,000 books, which line the original oak bookcases. I was ecstatic to walk among the shelves where great authors such as Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, and James Joyce had been. All that excitement was shortly overcome by the presence of God’s Word.

    The books in Marsh’s Library aren’t supposed to be touched or photographed, which are two extremely difficult rules for me to obey, but I did obey...reluctantly. Since I couldn’t photograph anything, I took my time leaning over the rope barriers trying to make out the titles on the old, worn book spines. There weren’t many titles that were legible and the ones that had a few letters happened to be in Latin, which was not helpful for my growing curiosity. It wasn’t until I was a few bookcases in that I saw two books which spines I could clearly read. I got goosebumps as I stared at the clear, gold words “Holy Bible” that lined the top of the foot-long book spines.

    Now I’m not sure how old these copies of the Bible were, but the yellowed pages and worn spine were beyond a couple centuries old. I stood, leaning over the rope barrier, amazed that God’s Word was clearly preserved, tucked between the illegible titles of various books. 

    it’s been almost a week since I visited Marsh’s Library, yet I’m still amazed by God’s Word sitting so visibly on those shelves. I began thinking about God’s ability to preserve me. If God can preserve copies of the Bible from centuries ago, surely He can (and does) preserve my life. There are many days where I need God to remind me of His goodness and purpose for my life. 

    I love the word “preserve”. Here are a few synonyms: maintain, protect, safeguard, keep alive, uphold, and sustain. God is my preserver, my protector. He sustains me. Every day He gives me air to breathe and a heartbeat to glorify Him. 

    I know my life is far from reflecting the perfection of my Creator, yet He continues to preserve me, loving me endlessly despite my mistakes and distant heart.

    I want my life to be like those century old Bibles on the oak shelves of Marsh’s Library. I want people to look at the “title” of my life and know that I’m a preserved child of my Creator, saved by grace and sustained for His purpose.

 

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Psalms 55:22 ESV

 

“Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; preserve my life from dread of the enemy.”

Psalms 64:1 ESV

Published by Alexandra Cassick