Reading Someone Else’s Mail
February 27, 2012
Violins serenade in the newly-redecorated coffee-shop, emanating from an invisible sound system behind dark mahogany woodwork and high metal tubing. A last cheese Danish from the back and hot coffee are perfect companions in my window seat. The snow outside is like white turf with pebbled pavement peeking through.
Lord, in my time in Jeremiah I hear a prophet echoing your frustration, and I see a big God who’s fed up. I have read Israel and Judah’s history now through the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah, and seen their disobedience and offenses stacked high. I see my own failings written in their font and have often cried out confessions in the last four–five months of reading these prophets.
But now, Lord, I want to see you. I want to delight you. Help me to learn you. I want to know your heart: what brings you joy and what saddens you.
After several years of reading through the Old Testament, wanting to see it all with fresh eyes, I occasionally feel like I’m reading someone else’s mail. Peering into love letters between an on-again-off-again mistress and her Man, I see the Creator’s love and loyalty to his World, especially his Jewish people in the 600 and 500s B.C. His love is patient and deep, offering second, third, fourth, tenth, and hundredth chances to his Beloveds. The Creator’s forgiveness and tenderness entrance me.
|Thanks to Microsoft clip art|
Reading familiar promises in context, though, sometimes leaves me holding someone else’s mail, reading someone else’s love letters. Too often, I have held aloft verses meant for another, and claimed them as my own. Snatching another’s Valentines, I read the words and started counting daisies meant for another.
So, that’s my own little study this year… seeing which of God’s promises are truly meant for me (us) in the 21st century, and which are more meant to show us the big picture of His love, and his work throughout history. In that process, I can read the Lover’s letters to others too, and see his heart, study his character, and learn what delights him.
This doesn’t mean he hasn’t written of his love for us; it just leads me to word studies on “all nations,” and “that the world may know,” and “to those who come after” and more. We’re in there, loved and written about in his hand as well, but I’m still learning whose mail is whose.
What about you? What have you thought or read about this? Any insight or verses for us to study on this? You ARE loved, though, my friends, and it’s written in his hand.
(The giveaway winner selected at random is Cabinart! Please email me your address so I can mail the coffee card to you. Enjoy!)