Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Letters to my Sisters (Part 1)

Have you ever received a beautiful letter, inscribed with your name on it?  

One such a lovely handwritten note, in the finest calligraphy, arrived the week before our wedding to inform us that a special guest could not attend.  

John had studied at Juilliard and taught my husband violin while Thomas was a boy.  It was several years before I met the elderly gentleman named John, but I have never forgotten his exquisite handwriting.  

In the day of e-mails and texting, we rarely receive tokens of thanks in the scrolling penmanship of days gone by, but we can still encourage one another in the Lord.  This letter is the first in a series I hope to write to those of you who are relatives in the family of God, my beloved sisters in Christ.


Dear Sister,                                                   

 You are beautiful, because You have been fashioned by an Almighty God. 

You have been fearfully designed and wonderfully made by the One who spoke the worlds into existence, by the God of the universe, who designed intricate flowers and complex galaxies.

Yes, this same Designer has fashioned you, shaped you, created you.  Every part of your person has been masterfully engineered by Him. 

Have you stopped recently to consider that this Master Designer knows you?  He understands those thoughts you grapple with regularly, those fears that plague you occasionally, that area in which you are seeking deliverance.  He knows what drives you, what hurts you, what touches you.  He sees the very need of your heart, for He is your Creator. 

A flitting butterfly.  An impressive, multi-hued sunset.  A breath-taking ocean view.  All of God’s works are full of marvels.  Everything He does is wonderful.  And YOU are part of the wonderful work of God.  

Perhaps the next time you look in the mirror and become aware of that physical flaw you feel you have, you could try marveling at God’s greatness in framing you just as you are.  As one of God’s works, you are actually are a marvel of His greatness.  The very fact that you are breathing right now, that your organs are working, that your smile beautifies your features, that your unique personality can be affected by the indwelling Spirit of our God—each of these aspects depicts the glory of your design!

The psalmist recognized this.  His uniqueness caused him not to love himself but rather to glorify God: I will praise thee,” he determined, “for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Ps. 139:14).

God’s work is His craftsmanship.  The fact that you have been crafted demonstrates the exquisite Designer quality of God’s work.  Will you praise Him today?   

This Master Designer has likewise crafted the distinctions of others, the gifts and abilities that each of our sisters in Christ possesses.  Will you praise Him for these differing gifts? Choosing to lay aside criticism and to embrace praise, we can marvel that God, the Master Planner, has fitted each of us uniquely for His glory and has chosen for us all the pathway of good works.

Understanding that important purpose can help us today to know if the words and deeds flowing from our hearts are acceptable to Him:  [You] are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that [you] should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). 

You.  Created.  For Him.  Unto good works.

What a glorious design!