Monday, August 11, 2008

Love letters

When I was an early teen, my parents and I went on a trip around the country. It was quite the adventure! We drove west, made it all the way out to Utah and New Mexico, then started driving back east and when we arrived in Tennessee, it happened. I met a boy. He was a little older than me, great looking, and had a fabulous southern accent. I'm not sure what it was about me that he liked, but we clicked. We did our darndest to spend as much time together as we could in the few days we had, and then it was time for me to leave.

We swore that we would write to each other. And we did...for a month or so. But words cannot describe how in tune I was to hearing the mail truck drive up to our mailbox. My heart would flutter with expectation as I would rush out to the box to see if there was a love letter there for me or not. How disappointed I was when there was nothing, and how elated I became when there was! Those letters were priority #1. I would read them over and over, analyzing every word, practically burning them to memory. I wanted to know everything I could about him and the only way I could do that was through his letters. Did you ever have that experience?

In pre-email days, and even more so before the industial age came, letters were it. If you received a written document from someone, you had something valuable. It was not just hear-say, it was something in writing, something to believe, something true. You could "take it to the bank". Can you imagine how the newly formed churches must have felt when they got a letter from Paul or Timothy or Peter or James or John? I imagine they would gather to hear what that letter said, would read it over and over again, and wanted to remember every word. These letters were from the apostles; they were the next best thing to hearing from Jesus Himself.

The Bible is a precious collection of love letters from God to us. His words, thoughts and desires have been bundled in book form so we can read them whenever we want. Are these letters priority #1? Does my heart flutter with expectation as I get ready to read it today? Do I look forward to reading its lines over and over, analyzing each verse and discovering what He wants to say to me? What an awesome resource we have to get to know God!

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