God’s Word is a light to many people’s paths.
For a number of years The Gideons International in the British Isles has enjoyed a strong relationship with hotel managers and guest house and B&B proprietors, which has resulted in a Gideon Bible being placed at the side of virtually every guest bed in the country. Over the years many of these Bibles have been used by the Lord to bring people staying in those rooms to saving faith, including some at the edge of despair or on the verge of suicide.
However, during the last decade we have become increasingly aware that the light has been dimmed by a growing reluctance of some establishments and hotel groups to allow a Gideon Bible to be where it is needed.
The reason behind this can vary but it often centres around the hotel’s desire not to offend people of other faiths. Another reason mentioned is simply that managers never see any evidence of people having read the Gideon Bible.
Well how about this young man’s story for evidence?
In my experience, the maxim that ‘You get what you pay for’ is by and large true. At £25 a night, our hotel at Manchester Airport is definitely not an exception to this. But I was happy enough in a room there, sitting with my girlfriend on Easter Sunday morning.
Officially, I became a Christian when I was 10 years old. Truth be told, though, I’ve spent more of my life running away from God than following Him. That Easter Sunday morning, I had breakfast on my mind. God, it seems, had other ideas.
“So, is today the day Jesus died?”, came an unexpected enquiry from my girlfriend.
What?! How could a perfectly intelligent girl, brought up in this at least nominally Christian country, not know her Good Friday from her Easter Sunday? I was flabbergasted.
“No, that’s Good Friday,” I said. “Today is when He rose from the dead.
Irked that people didn’t seem to know even basic truths, I suddenly found myself asking her if she’d ever read of what happened on the first Good Friday and Easter Sunday. “Er, not really.” Came her somewhat cautious reply. “There’ll be a Bible in this room somewhere,” I said, with an unusual amount of enthusiasm. And sure enough there was – a Gideon Bible faithfully resting in the drawer of the bedside cabinet.
I managed to find Luke 23 without betraying the fact that my Bible skills were seriously rusty, and I read Luke’s account of the crucifixion out loud to her. When I got to verse 45, where Luke tells us that the Temple curtain is torn in two, I stopped and said that this had always been one of my favourite verses in the Bible. “Why?” She asked. And so I explained the significance of the tearing of the curtain, how it showed that Jesus, by his death, had opened the way for sinful man to be in a relationship with God.
I’d like to say that she was instantly convicted of her sin, and repented and believed on the spot. But instead, I finished reading and we went about our day without any further mention of that first Easter. Looking back, though, this was one of the moments when God gave me something of a ‘kick up the backside’ because it made me realise that I, who at the time was a somewhat half-hearted Christian at best, knew these things to be true. I knew that I’d been bought with the precious blood of Christ and belonged to Him. How could I be annoyed at other people’s lack of knowledge, while at the same time I was failing to live out what I knew to be true? I therefore resolved to start trying harder to live like one of God’s people.
My girlfriend and I are not together any more but we’re still close friends. I hope and pray that she will come to put her trust in the Lord Jesus and I try to speak to her about the Gospel when I can. As for me, well I’m following Jesus more wholeheartedly than probably I’ve ever done. In part, this is because God inspired some people to make sure that His Word was to be found in a hotel room at Manchester Airport.
In my view, that makes a £25 hotel room priceless.
Will you help us to keep a Bible in every bedroom?
When you stay in a hotel, guest house or B&B, you have a unique opportunity to support this ministry. As a customer your views are important to the establishment that you plan to stay in. By asking for a Gideon Bible to be in your room, not only will you know that the Word is there for you, you will also be sending a message to managers and proprietors that says that the presence of a Gideon Bible is appreciated and valued by you.
Please help to keep a Bible in every room. It could change someone’s life!