The Power of a Three-Letter Word

June 12, 2012 | 64 comments

She was four years old, I think, when she took her purple and pink crayons to my Bible. I do know that she could only spell three words at the time: Lydia, Mom and God.

I guess she’d seen me with my own “crayons” over the years, marking up thin pages of Holy writ with my green grease pencil. I would highlight whole sections while bent over those pages in a pew, or at the kitchen table.

Children are mirrors. They do what we do. They don’t listen to lectures or sermons. They watch our sermons, which we preach — often without saying a word — in places like kitchens and cars. And even though I had told her a hundred times to never scribble in her books, she had seen me “draw” in my Bible over and over again.

So, when I wasn’t looking, the child grabbed a crayon in her chubby little fist, and flipped open the Bible, to the verses in 1 John, and marked the only word she knew on the page: God.

“… now we are children of God,
and what we will be has not yet been made known to us.”
~ 1 John 3:2

She was deep into the Scriptures by the time I found her there, hunkered down with her small task of finding the biggest three-letter word to hit planet Earth.

When I did find her there, I tapped her on the shoulder. She looked up at me with wide eyes and a look of dread spreading across her face. It was the same look I’d seen on my girls when they had given themselves haircuts, had broken lamps, had drawn on walls, and had carved a name into the kitchen chair. She wore her guilt across her brow. She knew she had broken the rules about scribbling in books.

I counted later. She colored the word God 57 times.

It was the only word she could read on those pages. It was the only thing that made any sense on those pages.

In all of humanity, it’s the only thing that has ever made any sense at all. When this world gets crooked, God straightens. Sin walks in, like a bull in a china shop, and we find God — as Christ — stooping down to pick up shards so he can make something out of broken pieces.

Yes, the enemy is hell-bent on destruction, but God sends a Savior to stand guard. That’s the power of three letters: G.O.D.

He speaks; stars form.
He motions a hand; seas part.
He dispatches His son; kings tremble.
His name is whispered; the enemy shudders.

Three letters. One single word, holding the cure for every broken thing.

When everything falls apart? God.

When nothing works? God.

When disaster strikes? God.

When cancer? God.

When heartbreak? God.

When betrayal? God.

There is nothing He can’t redeem, no chaos to which He cannot bring order. He is in the business of making things aright, writing hope on the hearts of men. Wise men still seek Him … seek to find His name written on pages — and on our very own hearts.

So when that child looked up at me — the child, caught in the act of finding that one great Word — I could do nothing but hold her two small hands in mine. I looked her straight in the eye, squeezed her little fists and told her what a marvelously beautiful thing she had done.




Have you come by to share your God-Bumps or God-Incidences story? Oh good. I can’t wait to read them.

Here’s the scoop:

1 – Write your story about the God-Things that make you go hmmmm … those moments that give you God-Bumps (instead of goosebumps).

2 – Add a button to your post, found here.

3 – Come back and link up!

4 – Pay a visit to a neighbor and encourage them in their walk. I’ll see you at your place soon!






by | June 12, 2012 | 64 comments


  1. Michele-Lyn

    Okay… God-Bumps for this one! Definitely! This is so precious and speaks to my heart on so many levels. Oh, to think of how God speaks to these little precious hearts — and we are to come to Him like them and in child-like innocent faith.

    And to know that GOD is really ALL that matters — ever, just arrests my heart. Just about 30 minutes ago, I told my eldest daughter about you and how you bless me. I told her, “I don’t know what it is… something different. I just love her.”

    Thank you for this… for your words and your life in GOD.

    • dukeslee

      You make me smile. This really warms my heart. I love you back, Michele-Lyn.

  2. kelli

    Yes. The ONLY Thing that makes sense.
    Really, could we just become like them???

    Especially in this: “They watch our sermons, which we preach — often without saying a word — in places like kitchens and cars.”

    Both convicting and encouraging. Words are good, living it is better. Thanks, friend.

    • dukeslee

      You’re right, Kelli. To be like the child.

    • Duane Scott

      My thoughts exactly, Sandra.

      This brings tears to my eyes, tonight… Oh, so good.

      • dukeslee

        Thank you, Duane. And nice talking to you today. Keep up the great work on your site, friend.

    • dukeslee

      Hugs, Sandy. Thank you for being here.

  3. Dave

    God – for in him we live and move and have our being.

    Thanks for this profound, simple reminder, Jennifer.

    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Dave — especially for the Acts reference. Would you believe it if I told you that I almost had those Scriptures included in this post? Yeah. Way cool.

  4. Tracie

    This is so.very.beautiful. And exactly what I needed to read tonight. Thank you.

    • Jennifer@GDWJ

      Thank you, Tracie. May you sense the power and presence of the biggest Word.

      ” … The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” — John 1:1

  5. Jennifer@Adam's Rib

    When nothing else makes sense on the page–GOD. Yes–that. Just that.

    • Jennifer@GDWJ

      Word. Up. 🙂

      From the Message (John 1):

      The Word was first,
      the Word present to God,
      God present to the Word.
      The Word was God,
      in readiness for God from day one.

  6. tracy werner

    One of thee most amazing way to learn about Him…is through a child…they have such an innocence & so much truth…they have no idea how much conviction they already have in their words & in their actions…amen to the children that color in bibles!

    • Jennifer@GDWJ

      Hi Tracy! We get to see you here in the comment two times in a row. How fun for Jennifer! 🙂 I’ll bet your a Bible colorer. Let me guess once place that is highlighted: Psalm 139?

      Hugs to you.

  7. Kim

    Beautiful and meaningful – just like always. Thank you. You are a blessing.

    • Jennifer@GDWJ

      Thank you, Kim. I’m glad you were encouraged.

  8. Danelle

    It all comes back to faith like a child. Such profound lessons are learned.
    I wonder why so may times I find myself writing about the words my sons speak or the actions they take. How it is that a 10 and 8 year old seem to teach me the most about God. But it is true.
    This was crazy beautiful. Thank you Jennifer. God bumps for sure.

    • Jennifer@GDWJ

      Me, too, Danelle. I write about lessons from my girls often. I wonder how long our children will let us get away with telling their crazy stories on our blogs. 🙂

  9. Lyla Lindquist

    Caught in the act of finding God.

    My first thought there was how much I’d love to be caught doing such a thing. 🙂 And it was followed by how I still have that sense of dread to go along with Lydia’s wide eyes at the thought of being “caught” finding God in some other than the most prescribed ways.

    Lydia, my young sage. She doesn’t stop. 🙂

    • Jennifer@GDWJ

      One of my favorite verses is this:

      “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

      Your words here in the comment box, Lyla, remind me of those verses in Jeremiah.

  10. Sheila Seiler Lagrand

    The little ones show us how He’s hidden in our hearts from the very beginning.

    Thanks, Jennifer.

    • Jennifer@GDWJ

      Indeed, Sheila.

      God has written His name upon the hearts of His people. We don’t have to look very far to see His Kingdom come, here on Earth.

  11. Wendy Paine Miller

    Such a powerful way to share this & a message I need to hear every day.

    Getting through.
    ~ Wendy

    • Jennifer@GDWJ

      You and me both, Wendy. Thanks for sharing. We need to chat again, catch up on writing projects…

  12. Julie

    I should know by now to to stop over here without a box of tissues. I can’t tell you how this speaks to me this morning…thank you for sharing.

    *still praying those calves are getting better!


    • Jennifer@GDWJ

      I’m so glad you were encouraged, Julie.

      Thanks for those prayers. The calves are getting much, much better.

  13. David Rupert

    It is simple — and yet i complicate it so much. When faced with betrayal, one of the items on your list, i went to a thousand other ‘fixes’ before i settled on God. Why didnt I go to Him first?

    • dukeslee

      Because we are human.

      Thank you for your witness, David. Keep shining, my friend.

  14. Christine

    Oh, this is my favorite post ever. Thank you! So often it’s young children who spread his truth and it’s so marvelous. You’re a good mommmy!

    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Christine. 🙂

  15. Eyvonne

    This is such a great story! Thanks for telling.

  16. happygirl

    Sweet story. She has a lovely ideal to mirror. Thanks for this story

  17. Gramma T

    I was wearing one of my Frassy shirts the other day at the Assisted Living while doing the ladies fingernails and one of them asked about it….YES an opening for a time of sharing with those wonderful women of faith!!??? They got a chuckle out of the meaning of the word. Faithful=Rowdy=Apostles=Seeking and Serving=YAHWEH! We are never to old to be happy in the Lord. They teach me new things every week.

  18. Alecia

    How sweet. I needed to be reminded to be a mirror for my kids. I want them to see Jesus in me, not by preaching at them but by how well I love them. It’s small things like reading the bible at the kitchen table in the morning that they get to see, and words are not needed. Thanks for this!

  19. SimplyDarlene

    There are so many lessons is this story, miss JDL.

    Your telling and interpretation through godly glasses is God-grande!


  20. Susan

    What a sweet story, Jennifer. I’m constantly amazed at the way God reveals Himself to us, even in the train wrecks of life. ESPECIALLY in the train wrecks because, just like you said, HE is the only One that always makes sense!

    He’s amazing me with truths about Rahab right now. Thanks for the opportunity to link up with other believers.
    Blessings to you today!!

  21. Cathy

    What a beautiful story. I love the way God uses our children to teach us so much. 🙂

  22. Lynn Morrissey

    The beauty of this, Jennifer, is that your child very likely not only saw God in your Bible, but in your eyes, reflecting His love back to her. You didn’t chastise her for “coloring outside the lines,” but you cherished her for highlighting God! Jesus welcomed the little children, and how often adults don’t. I know that your daughter will never forget this, and how beautiful that she was also following her mommy’s example of both drawing attention to God and loving His Word. (And BTW, you should see my bible and my daughter’s. We highlight verses and journal all over the margins! The paper, itself, isn’t sacred. I think that God loves those interactive scribblings. This is beautifully told, Jennifer. Thank you so for sharing!

  23. Elizabeth

    I love this post, Jennifer!

  24. Cara @ WhimsySmitten

    I love everything about this. If only we spent our whole lives focusing hard on God in between, highlighting His presence there like the only thing that matters. Because it is. Love, love this.

  25. Laurie Collett

    3-letter Word — fits right in with the theme of my post this week: God’s Signature: 3 in 1! He really is all we need — may we keep our sights focused on Him!
    Thanks for the beautiful post and for hosting the link-up!
    God bless,

  26. Alicia

    Oh, my, I LOVE this! I have so many scribbles in my Bible from little ones joining me over the years in those early morning hours in the Word. I have their names written by the marks and doodles they’ve left behind– proof that we have shared the Daily Bread together from the beginning. Oh, how I love those 3 letters. And long for each of my own to love Him, too.

  27. Karen

    Beyond precious…the greatest of lessons taught in the simplest of ways…

  28. Courtney

    Precious! I pray that I have that perspective and patience if I ever find my boys doing something similar.

  29. Beth Herring

    oh, this is so rich! 2 of my grandchildren have done the same thing to my bible. One of them marked Malachi to pieces and the other the book of James as I was in the beginnings of my memorization of it.. I love to see their little swoops of highlighter on the pages.

  30. floyd

    Wow. What a great story. Your daughter has a big future, thanks to Him, G-O-D and her parents. I can’t say I’ve been as wise with my kids in those situations… Note to self…

  31. Dolly

    love how you saw GOD in what your little one did…so loving and good 🙂

  32. S. Etole

    Oh yes … “I AM” …

  33. Audra Krell

    Simply beautiful. This needs to be part of a book, maybe you are busy writing it!

  34. Robert Moon

    And she was so very neat with her findings of God. You are a good mother. I probably would not have been so nice if it were my Bible.

  35. Marie

    How beautiful! What a mommy!

  36. Cindy

    So profound, Jennifer. You will treasure those beautifully colored words forever. Yes, God’s Word is all about…..God. I am so grateful that He can speak into my ear as I go there each day.

  37. Kathleen

    What a great post and it’s always wonderful how God uses our children to speak to us. Have a wonderful weekend!

  38. Alyssa Santos

    This was beautiful. Really. I know this truth all too well, but I often scurry to look for other solutions. Just a perfect picture and so incredibly written. Thank you.

  39. Denise J. Hughes

    Simply beautiful. Three letters really do say it all.

    (I love to mark up my Bible too.) 🙂

  40. Megan Willome

    You handled that beautifully!

    My favorite line? “and marked the only word she knew on the page: God.” You have a special girl there.

  41. Joe Pote

    “It was the only thing that made any sense on those pages.”


    Powerful and beautiful!

    What a sweet story with such a powerful message.

    May your daughter always be as focused on God and His word as she was that day!

  42. Lori

    Oh Jennifer, what a wonderful story….I could just picture it all. You will look back on that day for a very long time to come….loved it! Lori

  43. Judy

    What a lovely reminder each time you open those pages in your Bible – made me recall the way my three year old daughter (now fifteen) whiled away time while sitting quietly in church – no pencil in hand to mark it, but trying to find all the times ‘God’ was on the page in my prayer book.

  44. Mandy

    I love this! So, so, so beautiful!



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