I have had a lot of pen pals in my lifetime, a couple of whom have become very close friends of mine. A lot of the other gals I wrote to simply stopped writing, or moved on in life, but I still have most of their old letters in a shoebox in my closet. It is always interesting to go back and read the youthful experiences and I cannot help but smile at the innocence of our conversations.
Today, I was pondering this as I thought about one penpal in particular. She was only a year older than me and was introduced by a missionary to Israel, though the missionary could not go by that title. She was an English teacher who taught in the Jewish schools and as their teacher, she was able to teach them about Jesus, the great Messiah. Many of the children got saved, unbeknownst to their parents and hard times followed shortly after. My friend was one of those converts. We began writing when I was around fifteen years old and we still correspond to this day.
We got to know each other through many letters, which took over two weeks to reach the recipient. I learned what life was like on the other side of the world and followed her through the unknowns of having to hide her belief in Jesus from her family or else they might have disowned her. I read letters of her experiences of enduring the unsettled feeling of wondering whether or not war was going to start any day, and having to hide in bomb shelters from the threatening missiles that were being sent over from the neighboring country. I followed as her mother and siblings got saved and heard miraculous stories of God' protection over them. For years all I had to go by were the letters and pictures she sent and even though I had never personally seen her face to face, I knew she was a real person and I loved her dearly. I believe it was the end of 2005 when I finally got to meet her and what a joyous time that was.
This is the same way that our relationship works with the Lord. We get introduced to Him through someone speaking of Him, like that missionary, and that sets us on a whole new journey of life by reading the written letters to us called the Bible. Though we do not see Him face to face, we learn of Him through the written word and get to see mental images portrayed in the Scriptures. We believe in Him simply because He is, with a childlike faith, not having to see Him to believe, but trusting that the letters on the pages before us are true. His love is deep inside the words and we look beyond what we can see , to the days when we will get to see His face, feel His nailed scarred hands, and put our hand into His side. All the years of waiting will be over and we will not need His letters anymore because we will get to see Him as He is. We will hear His voice and see Him face to face and what a joyous