Written words. Ever think what life would be like without them? My mom told me recently about a man she knew who never learned to read. He relied on his wife to read road signs, documents, even cards from his children.
I can’t imagine not being able to read, being the word nerd that I am. In a big hat box under my bed are hundreds of words. Most precious are the letters and cards written to me by my husband. Letters from Africa when he spent two months there during our engagement. He penned his affections for me so beautifully, his heart on paper.
Another box contains notes from my children. I’ve been known to sit and read through those misspelled scribbles, giggling out loud as I go. Love written by little growing hands is such a great read.
I keep those words tucked away so that I can remember. On days when love seems to hide its face in our family, I can read the hearts of my people written on paper for me. The love is real. When my big teenage boy has pushed every button and found a few new ones, I can look back at his notes to Mommy and remember that God started something in him. He will finish it.
I think of the words written in our home that bind our family together. Our marriage certificate, birth certificates, adoption decrees. We chose each other, chose names, chose love. Powerful words, life-changing, name-giving, intention-stating words.
Written words are for keeping. Keeping lists, keeping memories, keeping recipes, keeping directions, keeping records, keeping stories.
As I read the Bible, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by the thought of God writing down his love for us so to keep. He knew how desperately we would need reminding. He knew how lonely we would be for his love, how curious about his nature and his plans.
Not many of us write letters any more. Texts are our closest attempts. It’s almost a thing of the past to receive a handwritten letter in the mail. Writing is so very personal. I delete most texts, but I kept every letter my grandmother wrote to me while I was in college. Her “chicken scratch”, as she called it, was a beautiful way that she loved me and I want to remember her.
The Bible is God’s letter to us, lavishing his love and his intentions toward us. It is also a powerful document of our identity, declaring we belong to our Father. Powerful words, name-giving, life-changing…
Regretfully, I neglect his words, his love letter to me. I forget the power that lives within the pages of his Word.
As we live in this culture that bombards us with messages of its own, how desperately we need the message of our Savior. This world seeks to write discontent, discouragement, and doubt on our hearts every single day. Yet, in God’s infinite wisdom and grace, he found authors to write down his truth for us to keep. Not on a shelf, but in our minds.
We are all longing for answers, acceptance, assurance, security, identity, and joy. As we open his Word, our needs are met. As we read of his love for us, we can rest. As we read who we are in Christ, we can stop striving to be enough for this world.
His Word is powerful and life changing. I pray that you are reading it today. What is it that you are longing for? Search his Word, asking for his Holy Spirit to guide you into truth.
God wrote down his love for you to keep. Amazing.
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. Isaiah 40:8