A Hungarian gospel preacher was riding a train on his way to his hometown. He had a sack of Bibles with him that he intended to distribute.
During the trip, a communist customs agent came through checking all baggage. The sack of Bibles sat at the preacher’s feet. By his side lay his own personal Bible with notes and sermon outlines.
The customs agent looked at the sack first. He opened it, thumbed through the pages of the Bibles, and then began throwing them out the window of the speeding train.
Then, as if for spite, the agent looked down at the open, used, and obviously personal Bible of the preacher. He grabbed for it and gave it a toss out the window also. The preacher was horrified as his precious Bible sailed out the window to parts unknown.
For three years the preacher bemoaned the fact that his good Bible with so many notes and sermons was no longer his constant companion. He stated to other Christians that he believed in Romans 8:28 but wondered how something like this could work out for good!
One day he received his personal Bible back through the mail! The enclosed letter read:
“Dear brother in Christ: Thank you. Thank you for the use of your Bible. I found it by the railroad three years ago. I have kept it, read it, and studied it often. My family and I have written down many Scriptures on paper and many more in our hearts. We cannot thank you enough for now maybe we can go to heaven. But, brother, please forgive me for keeping your Bible so long. I thought that if I did not read it now, I might never again find a Bible to read.”
The Hungarian preacher wept: “Oh, Great God and Father of us all, forgive me for my doubting.”
I can relate to this Hungarian preacher. My personal Bible is also a prized possession to me. I would be devastated if I lost it and the study notes I’ve accumulated. My wife has joked on occasion that if our house was burning down, I’d save my Bible before her! Admittedly, if I, like the Hungarian preacher, lost my Bible due to the foolishness of someone else, I would have a hard time dealing with such.
Nevertheless, in spite of my weaknesses, I too believe in Romans 8:28. In that passage the apostle Paul wrote, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
All things eventually work out for the best for those who genuinely love the Lord. It was true for Paul in the first century. It was true for the preacher in Hungary. It’s true today wherever God’s faithful ones call home. We can’t always see how things will work out for the best, but as long as we make certain that we are of that number who truly love God and His will, then we should be able to accept the challenges of life, trusting God as our guide.
May we never let doubt or struggles cripple us. May we sow the seed of God’s word abundantly and believe that good and honest hearts that are searching for the truth will find it–one way or another.
Stephen Bradd, audioevangelism.com
1 thought on “Forgive Me for Keeping Your Bible”
I love this story. I too lost a study Bible which had been with me for some time. It was well marked up and it must have been picked up by someone. I have thought of it from time to time and wondered if it helped anyone. Thanks for sharing. Dan