Letter to a young niece from her gray-haired uncle.
1 April 2008
My Sweet Joann,
It is Spring. A lovely time of the year. When buds blossom and birds sing sweetly in the trees. Hope this brings joy to your heart. May your hope too blossom.
It might have been hard for you to have suffered losses in the past. But the God of hope will not leave you hopeless. He will cause light to shine in your darkness.
It is the loss of your youth that you’re lamenting; is it not? You think that your best years have gone by. And you cry over the devastation that the destroyer has done in your life. You see the empty spaces with no activity. You moan over the projects that have failed. You wail over the lack of fruit in your work. Ah! “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded” (Jer. 31:16) and your youth will be renewed like the eagle’s (Ps. 103:5).
So now get up from your despair. With the God who goes ahead of you and who is also your rear guard, what are you doing lying down on your bed in sorrow? Is it the past sins that trouble you? It broke his heart before it broke yours! What! You want to play music for the devil? Yes, that’s exactly what you do as you pity indefinitely about the sins that have been wiped out by the precious blood of the Lamb. My dear, have you forgotten what he said? See, “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud” (Is. 44:22). It is gone. Never will it be called to account against you. Never forget, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).
Are you now hearing his gentle whisper? Yes, he is saying to you, get back to your work. I’ve still unfinished tasks left for you to do. You are not to glory in your past achievements nor are you to lament over your failures. I am the Lord!
Now is your time to arise and shine. You are not to hide your light. It is for others to see and give glory to God. So step out. The difficulties you see will make way for you even as you take the first step. They are no match for God’s power which acts mightily on your behalf. He is waiting for you to obey. Yes, you’re afraid? You’re having doubts? It is all good. That means you have no strength of your own. Yes dear, it is when we are weak that God pours out his strength. We are but jars of clay holding the treasure of his glory.
Ah, you wrote me that you lack money to give to God. My dear, is God in lack of money? Surely you’re no fool to think likewise. Now why do you need to give? Certainly it is not because God is needy. You might have guessed it by now; isn’t it? Yes, God wants you to give so that you learn the joy of giving. So give your best to God and then you’ll know what it means to have God daily bear your burdens. And when you give to God sacrificially, giving the best from the very little you have, you learn what is freedom from worry. So dear Joann, prayerfully give. Give from your lack first; then later you will be able to give from your plenty!
You also wrote me of how others tease you for your faith in God. They seem to take pride in their academic brilliance and money-power. But know that their glory ends here to be eaten by the worms of the dust. Yours, on the other hand, shines bright like the stars of the sky for ever and ever. Your home is full of light; their’s darkness. So lift up your eyes to the God of heaven when you’re hurt by the comments of your friends. Then the peace of God shall come. And the Spirit of God shall bear witness in your heart that you are his child—a child of the light and of the King.
So Princess, let me stop for now. Perhaps before long the sun will set for me. But you are young. And his mighty hand is upon your life. Take your eyes off all that distracts and run your race with perseverance. Look to Jesus. And never take your eyes off him.
With lots of love,
PS: Do not forget to courier the books I left behind on my last visit. Hope you’ve finished reading them.
Also do not think that your witness to others is lost. Someday the seeds you’ve sown will sprout and bloom.