Thursday, June 24, 2010

letters to God

i have suddenly fallen in love with the art of letter writing again. there is something about a handwritten note that comes in the mail that is just so amazing. i’m not sure what part of it i love the most, the fact that someone thought of me and took time to write or that the mailman realizes i’m a big deal in someone’s life because they sent me a letter.

i remember in middle school - before email, instant messaging, and texts were all the rage – a close friend and i would write notes back and forth several times throughout the day. we would draw cute little borders and pictures that would make each other laugh on the edges and fill the page with lots of thoughts that were meant only for the other to see. now, just eight short years later it’s about the communications that are much more convenient than letters. emails, texts, and instant messages are the new way to let someone know you care in a much simpler, quicker way. you can type them, there’s no charge to send, and they arrive within seconds. however, these digital communications don’t have the beautiful scrawl of your loved ones or the scribbled out mess-ups of a younger sibling. a handwritten note is the diamond of written communication.

now, a journal has never been the thing for me. i have no desire to write to a book about my days. but there is something so cathartic about writing a letter to God every once in a while to let Him know your heart and to create a little reminder to you about the big moments in your faith. i never liked feeling like i had to write every day… or every other day (something my mom is soooo good at!), but instead have found it helpful to my faith to look at my notebook and realize there are bimonthly letters to God. some are sad and pleading for His help, others are reminders to myself about my lacking in some area while strong in others, and still more talk about my loved ones. but the one thing that’s the same in all of them, i’m speaking, very honestly, with my God.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” –Philippians 4:8

what do you have to bring to God? it doesn’t have to be a letter like Paul wrote to Galatians with all kinds of biblical knowledge, but rather a note of honesty, of pure heart. show God you long to be thinking on the things of Him despite the fact that you haven’t in the past. you don’t have to worry about impressing God with everything that you know about His word… why? because compared to Him you know nothing!

“Boast no more so very proudly,

Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth;

For the Lord is a God of knowledge,

And with Him actions are weighed. -1 Samuel 2:3

God speaks about the vastness of His own knowledge throughout the bible, but in 1 Samuel 2:3 he lays it out straight, “the Lord is a God of knowledge”. boom. we get it…. or do we?

my favorite passage to look at in my notes talks about the amazing faith of the people in my life – the immeasurable strength of my father’s, the curiosity and longing of my mother’s, the ever worshipping faith of my brother’s, the child’s faith of my baby brother’s, the new, yet intellectual faith of my boyfriend’s – and then i refer to my faith… i say to God it’s dried up and hungry, but I’m letting it stay that way, God. i don’t feel like i even have the energy to fix it. God read those words too, and He fixed it. He took the cup of life and filled my little heart until i sought out His word like a traveler in the desert seeking water.

verbal or silent mental prayer is much like email. it is soooo much more efficient and easier to use than writing things out. but when you handwrite a letter to God, when you put your thoughts and words on paper, you create a permanent record of your prayers rather than a fleeting thought. use a letter to God to renew your communications with Him. write your prayer out on a paper and keep it somewhere safe. then, in a couple months, look back and enjoy the answers to those written prayers.

song of the day:

you give me hope - between the trees

this song is on the movie letters to God soundtrack. it reminds me that He is here to give hope and i need to be keeping my eyes open and concentrated on all of the little rays of hope shining down from Him above. rays that could so easily be missed but are sent specifically me by my Father in heaven who loves me most.

the singer says, "you give me hope in spite of everything. you show me love even with so much pain. so i'll take this life and live like i was given another try." amen. He gives us hope. He love us. so, we will take our lives and live like He has given us another try.