Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 21, 24, 26, & 28 – And God said . . .
In recent days, I have written about “You talking to me?” moments in the lives of Bible characters; Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Noah, Moses, and many more. Today, I want to share about a “You talking to me?” moment in the life of a 20th century man of God I knew personally. It was the man of whom I write today who told me this story. His name was Henry Hutchins. He was my first pastor, and I knew him from my earliest youth, living next door to him in the earliest of those days. Here is a “You talking to me?” moment in his life.
Imagine being a teenager prior to World War One. He was uneducated, practically alone in life, and had just accepted Jesus as His Savior. He was in love with Jesus, but could neither read nor write. Today he would be called a total illiterate. He sat on the front porch of the little wooden house in which he lived, holding a Bible in his hand, weeping and begging the Lord to teach him to read. He was so persistent in his crying that he fell asleep from being so tired. As he slept, the Lord gave him a dream. In his dream, he saw a word standing before him in letters (these are his words) so big they looked like railroad boxcars standing on their end. In his dream, the Lord spoke to him and told him that when he found that word in the Bible, He would teach him how to read His Word. When he awoke, the search was on.
Where does a man who cannot read a single word begin to search for a word he has been shown, and that has been imprinted indelibly on his mind? It only makes sense that he would start at the beginning. And so, he began. One word at a time, line after line, column after column, page after page, chapter after chapter, book after book – he searched. All through the entire Old Testament, he searched without finding that single word. He turned his attention to the Gospels, and finally, he saw the sought-after word. It was in Matthew 16:13 – “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?“ The single word he had so diligently sought for days on end was before his eyes. The word was “Philippi.” He was the word. He remembered how the Lord had pronounced it for him. He spoke it out loud, and suddenly, yes suddenly, his eyes were opened, his understanding was opened, and he opened his mouth and began to read. But that’s not the end of the story. Tomorrow I will share with you, as Paul Harvey used to say, “the rest of the story.”
Manna for Today – Genesis 1; Psalm 119:89; Proverbs 4:20-23; Mark 11:22-26; Romans 3:4