It's been a while. I used to write letters to you all the time. Now, with the kids, work, and all the stuff I do for you, I really never make the chance to sit down and tell you how I really feel. It's always just a minute here or there. And yet, you are at the heart of all I do; without you, it is all meaningless. So I guess tonight, for a few minutes, I want to come back to the heart of all...to You. Simply to Your presence, just me, without an agenda or trying to manipulate the situation, without a fancy style or flowery words.
I do a lot of writing these days. I write this blog. I write letters...lots of them...to my sponsored kids. Writing to my sponsored kids, or rather getting letters from them, has made me think about something. Just as I am their sponsor, You are mine. Your role in my life is as the ultimate "sponsor;" You do far more for me than I could ever hope to do for anyone!
What if I were sitting down to write to You as my Dear Sponsor, to the One who has invested in my life and changed my life in a way that I never dreamed was even possible?
How would it go?
My Dear Sponsor,
I want to start by thanking You for choosing me. I didn't have on a beautiful robe of righteousness when you noticed me. I wasn't fresh and clean. I was dirty...covered in filthy rags of sin. I was hungry and thirsty, a prisoner of my own sin. In fact, I wasn't even alive. You came by and had compassion on me, not because of any virtue that I possessed at that time. I had nothing to offer you. And yet, while I was still a sinner, still Your enemy, You raised me to life. This cost You a lot...Your own precious Son dying in my place, for no other reason than that You saw my suffering and loved me.
How could I ever thank you?
Not only did You choose me, but you also took me in and made me part of Your family. You gave me a new name--Your name--put me on a new robe of righteousness--Your robe. You are my Father and I am Your child. Now I have worth and value, because I am Yours. You have given me the wonderful privilege of getting to know You through the awesome letter that You wrote for me--Your Word. In it I can hear your story. I can be encouraged by the work you have done in the past, by Your wonderful promises. I can learn how to live in a way that pleases You; You are my Teacher. You even placed inside of me Your own Spirit to lead me, to remind me, to comfort me, to encourage me. I can tell You anything...dance with You, cry with You, laugh with You, lean on You;You are my Friend. When I am all alone and everything is against me, You are my Defender. Every day, You give me the things that I need to live; You are my Provider. You truly are everything to me.
How could I ever thank you?
Because of Your work in my life, I have learned what it means to be a member of Your family. I have a place, a purpose, and a future with Your people and for Your people. You have given me the incredible ministry and opportunity to share You with other people. I get to walk beside you and do the work that You are doing. This is really awesome because, when I read Your story, there is no One else that I would rather be like. No matter how many times I pour over the story of Your life on earth, I always come out with a new impression of Your kindness and compassion. I want to walk beside the shores of the Sea of Galilee with You. I want to be there when you touch a hand and heal. I want to see Your delight as the little children are brought to You. I want to rejoice as someone comes out of the grave at Your word. I want to pray with You in the Garden of Suffering. I want to be just like You, because no one ever did the things that You do. No one ever loved so much. I am so thankful that You have made me a part of what You are doing on this earth...that You have made me able, in a way, to to see the dead raised to life through Your Spirit, to see the sick healed and the hurting whole. You have shown me how to walk beside You and offer bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, clothes to the naked. I want my whole life to be about pouring into other people the way You poured into me.
How could I ever thank You?
I want you to know that I love You. Deeply, tremendously. The truth is, I can't thank you. My words aren't enough, my songs aren't enough, my life isn't enough. But I sure am going to always be speaking, singing, and living out thanks to You. I can't tell You how exciting it is to think that one day, I will actually get to meet You. I'll get to stand in Your presence, be held in Your arms, walk with You. Until that day, when I'm with You, I'm going to try to do what You said in the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25. You tell me that I can touch You, feed You, clothe You, visit You, give You a cold drink, wrap You in a warm blanket, sit by Your bed when You are sick, visit You while You are in prison. I wonder at how that is possible, but You tell me that what I do for the least, I'm doing for You. You feel it. You say "It's all for me!" So until You come, I'm going to be reaching out to touch You, feed You, clothe You, comfort You, in any way that I can. Then finally, when I'm with You, I can hear You say, "Well, done, my good and faithful servant."
Thank You for the special gift You gave me from Your Word the other day. It has really helped me get through something I was struggling with. I've called that gift to mind many times these past few days.
When I see You, I have a few questions I would like to ask. What is Your favorite color? What was Your favorite thing to eat when You lived down here like us?
I love You. I thank You. I can't wait to see You.
Lord, I love you. I pray that You would wrap my mind around the fact that it is only because of You that I have anything in this life. Help me to recognize that Your "sponsorship" truly changed everything...You had Compassion on me, released me from a deep spiritual poverty that I could never have overcome on my own. You gave me a hope and a future. When I give anything to anyone, it is only pouring out a little bit of what You poured into me. I want everything I do to be for You, in every area of my life. That's one thing that You are teaching me; compassion is meant to be lived out in every part of my life. It is not just for my sponsored kids. It is for my family, my students, my friends, my church, the lost. If I want to be like You, I'm going to live a whole life of compassion. Not for my glory, so I can say I did something, but for Yours.
And when I'm making time to write letters, I want to make You first on my list, because...
I love You.
And I should tell You more often.