A number of years ago, while serving on the staff of a non-profit organization, I had an experience that the Lord recently brought to remembrance. Revisiting my original blog entry about that encounter, I took some time to revise it, trusting that it will speak to you afresh.
While I was working at my desk one afternoon, our administrative assistant came into my office and handed me a large envelope. My interest was piqued as I took note of the clearly printed directive, "Do Not Fold." Seeing that this unexpected correspondence was also framed with little blue triangles saying “U.S. Postage PAID,” my sense of anticipation grew. Clearly, it was important for me to know that this effort to reach me directly was sacrificial.
My expectancy increased further as I examined this 8.5 x 11 sealed mystery and discovered a large warning near the address window that read: “Personal and Confidential Correspondence To Be Opened by Addressee ONLY.” Surely, the sender took great care to prepare this missive exclusively for me!
As I turned the envelope to read exactly how this strategically designed communication was addressed, my skyrocketing eagerness plummeted. The intended recipient? None other than “John Doe.”
Shaking my head in disbelief, I couldn't help but smirk at the irony of what I could only describe as lavish generality. With a chuckle, I pitched my "Personal and Confidential Correspondence" into the trashcan and returned to the work before me.
Reflecting on the rise and fall of my emotions as I received that communication, a sense of gratitude began to bubble up in my heart. I smiled as the sweet assurance of this truth washed over me: God does not send junk mail. And God's word to us does not come in manipulative packaging addressed to “John Doe," "Jane Doe," "Occupant," or even "Current Resident.”
On the contrary, God uniquely relates to us as the Beloved with an intentional message of kindness.
God speaks as One who knows us; as One who has inscribed us on the palms of His hands;
and as One who has numbered the very hairs on our head [Jer. 1:5 | Isa. 49:16 | Matt. 10:30]. God initiates with us as the One who knit us together in our mother’s womb; as the One who knows when we stand and when we sit; and as the One who hears our voice when we cry out [Ps. 139:13 | 139:2 | 4:3 | 139:13]. And in our woundedness, God is the tender One who sees our tears; the strong One who upholds us; the compassionate One who calls us by name; and the diligent One who heals our diseases [Ps. 56:8 | Isa. 41:10 | 43:1 | Ps. 103:2-3].
Oh, Beloved, you are not overlooked, nor forgotten. You are not invisible, nor lost in the shuffle. And, you are not forsaken, nor abandoned. The God whose eye is upon you knows you intimately, loves you deeply, and wants to speak to you clearly!
Why not take a moment right now and ask, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening” [I Sam. 3:10]. Be still and be open to God responding in a way that reflects His endless creativity, exquisite timing, and expansive vocabulary. The conversation may begin as you read the written Word, as you walk in creation, or even as you sit in silence.
In my own recent experience, God lovingly initiated by asking me a question that rattled the pharisee in me as I was getting ready for work one morning. That very specific and penetrating invitation to revisit my assessment of a particular situation opened a dialogue that became a pathway for healing.
If you are not quite sure where to begin, I invite you to hear God's heart toward you as expressed in this original song called, Inscribed. Based on Isaiah 49:14-25, the lyrics express God's personal affection, intentionality, and commitment to His beloved. As you listen, give God your thanks and courageously ask, "What else do You want to say to me right now?"
And know, "Before they call, I will answer; While they are still speaking I will hear" [Isa. 65:24]. Amen.
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