– Secret Place Insights –
Dear One, twenty-five years ago, a friend of mine sent a letter to a missionary who at that time lived half way around the world. Years after my friend passed away that same missionary visited our church. He and I got to talking and he mentioned having once received a very encouraging letter from my friend. I asked him if I might have a copy of it, and then…in a short time, I forgot that I had ever asked.
Recently, I received a copy of the letter in my email. The missionary found it while sorting through his files, and to my surprise, he remembered my request.
For me, the letter arrived at just the right time. And twenty-five years ago, for the missionary, it apparently arrived at just the right time for him too. For he included this in his email: “As I re-read it, I was moved once again by how God used her writing to encourage me to keep going in my missions work.”
After running off a copy of my friend’s old letter, I carefully reread it many times. Before folding it up, and putting it in a special place, I thanked God for the words of truth and encouragement that I needed…and had needed for days…if not weeks. It was then I wondered…if I sent this letter on to you, might it arrive at just the right time for you too?
The Letter –
“Dear (missionary) and (wife),
Thank you for writing your Dec. 1995 letter (I assume the letter was a missionary update), and sharing how much you need our prayers. Did Mr. (guest speaker) speak with the one man who came? (Again, I assume only one guest came to hear a Christian speaker.) One is better than none. I was reading Psalm 127 just now – verse 2 says, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors. For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.” Don’t be whipping yourselves for what you did or didn’t do. You did what God put on your heart and you will have to leave the rest to Him. Give it a rest and try it again.
Romans 5:25 says, “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance, and perseverance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope, does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts thru the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Count this time of your tribulation, and then, hang on to see how God will work it out.
Who am I to give you advice? Just a Mom with gray hair. But a friend at church who recently gave this advice was a missionary in Papua, New Guinea, many years ago. She said, “When the bottom drops out, Praise the Lord. Praise Him for whatever is happening. It is the only thing that will help.”
So don’t moan in prayer. Praise Him for Mr. (guest speaker), praise Him for the one person who came, praise Him for each other and (your daughter). Praise Him for healthy bodies and sound minds. Praise Him for His Holy Spirit, praise Him for sun coming up every morning, etc, etc. You will end up being so full of joy that your relationships with others will exude God’s love and they will wonder what you have and they will desire whatever it is. Your effort will never be in vain as God directs you. We cannot understand where we are in God’s plan, only that He has one and we know it is that every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. All we can do is seek His leading, which I know you are doing, and be obedient to Him and Praise Him.
One of the wonderful things about being a Christian is being a part of God’s forever family. Knowing you are hurting makes us hurt, but we can also encourage you and know you will feel that encouragement. As I sit here at my dining table where I do my daily reading the weak winter sun is shining on me. You are probably sound asleep right now. But God can be giving you the encouragement I am praying for you right now.
We really enjoyed the Christmas photo of the 3 of you. Your daughter looks like such a sweetheart. As she trusts you for everything, so you must trust God.
We are praying for you daily.
In Christ’s love,
(my friend) and (her husband)” < End of letter.
From an abundance of God’s love, my friend ministered to missionaries, then to me, and now perhaps to you. God’s love burns eternal, we can run from it, but we can never put it out.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
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