It was the 1970s, and my husband Lynn and I lived as far away from our hometown of Portland, Oregon, USA, as is possible. Portland’s antipode (on the opposite side of the globe) is somewhere in the Indian Ocean, and the large island of Madagascar, where we were serving as missionaries, is the closest land mass. This remote location meant that travel and communication were both extremely challenging. Communicating with friends and family in the USA from that great distance wasn’t easy. How easy communication is today with the growth of the Internet and social media! Email, texting, FaceTime, and Zoom make even face-to-face conversations from afar fast and easy today. During the 1970s, however, airmail letters were our primary means of communication.
My letter writing to our friends and families fell into a regular pattern. Every Sunday afternoon, I would sit down at my typewriter (no personal computers yet either, remember?) to type out my two-page, single-spaced letters on thin, airmail-weight stationery.
Writing and mailing a letter was only the first step in the chain of communication. It took an average of three weeks or more to send a letter home and receive a reply. Try to imagine this slow-motion, stuck-in-molasses style of conversation. By the time we got an answer to a particular question, we had often forgotten what we’d asked in the first place! More confounding yet was the confusion caused by the letters crossing in transit. Everything was always out of sync by half a step. Had we had a computer, I could have created a spreadsheet with letter dates, and questions asked and answered! Oh, so much confusion!
Despite the frustrations of this long-distance, slow-motion communication, we eagerly looked forward to getting letters from home. One Bible verse expresses what those letters from home meant to us:
“Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.” (Proverbs 25:25 NIV)
Even better than those letters from home is God’s Holy Word, the Bible. It is His “letter from home” to all of us, for we who know Jesus as Saviour also know that our real home is in heaven, even while we are still on earth.
“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.” (Philippians 3:20 NLT)
God’s words as written down by the inspired writers of Scripture are all about Jesus, Whom God wants to reproduce in the lives of His people. Through Scripture, we are invited to place our faith in Jesus’ redemptive work and God’s promise of eternal life. Through Scripture, we are also given all the instruction that we need for living a God-pleasing life.
Will you read God’s Word as His personal “letter from home” to you? Our loving response to His Word is obedience:
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11 NIV)
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, You have given us all that we need to know about You and our world through Your love letter to us — the Bible. May we read and receive it as Your personal message to each of us. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Gail Lundquist <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Beaverton, Oregon, USA
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission