Stephanie Ehmke, MA, LPC
Letters from God
“You show that you are a letter from Christ…”
2 Corinthians 3:3 (NIV)
Ever wish God would just send you a letter or an email telling you what to do? Or how about if he sent a card or a bouquet of flowers on those days you need encouragement? Wouldn’t that be helpful?
We all have days, no matter how strong our faith, when we need a tangible reminder of God’s loving presence. Personally, I think he loves to give us these reminders. The question is whether we have eyes to see them.
Personally, I have never received a letter or an email from God. However, I would argue that I’ve received a few from his children on his behalf. (Gives me chills!)
If you don’t know this about me, I love sunflowers. They are kind of a “thing” with God and myself, and over the years have become a symbol of his presence for me. This is not a weird, superstitious thing, it’s just a way I’ve found God to reveal himself to me in situations where I can’t see him but desperately need to.
For example, back in 2006, I was having a rough time with depression. It was a stressful season when I was trying to go back to school full time, be a good wife and mother, and trust God with our finances. The weight of that season brought with it bouts of depression that some days were overwhelming, leaving me wanting to stay in bed all day.
I remember specifically one of those days hitting me from out of nowhere. It was a Monday. I got the kids off to school and climbed back in bed, praying for God to lift the dark cloud that had enveloped me and to bring me joy.
I couldn’t understand why I was struggling so terribly. I was trying to do all the things God had called me to, so why the sadness? This question only seemed to make the depression worse. I remember questioning that day, “Lord, don’t you see me? Don’t you care that this depression keeps stalking me?”
No answer came.
Thankfully, by day’s end I was up and about, and by Tuesday the cloud had lifted enough to go about my day as usual. It was still there along with the fear of when it would descend again, but I had to keep moving. I was resolved; I would trust God, even though I didn’t understand the sadness.
Still, he had nothing to say.
On Wednesday, however, he spoke (kind of)…
As usual, I went out to get the mail at the end of the day. Sorting through the letters, there was one from my friend in Texas. It had been a while since we last spoke, but God always had a way of using her to encourage me. So, excitedly I opened the letter.
Inside was a single sheet of white copy paper folded neatly into 3 panels. As I slowly unfolded the letter, it revealed three things: a date, a sentence, and a photo.
At the top of the page was Monday’s date (the day of my crippling depression). Next was the sentence that read, “Steph, God put this on my heart to mail to you today.” And finally, there was a photo of a field of sunflowers. Immediately I was overwhelmed to tears.
It would not have been so unlikely for her to randomly send me a card or something encouraging with a sunflower on it, because she knows that I love them. However, for her to send me this image on the day when my heart NEEDED to know that God saw me was chilling.
It came via my Texas friend, but God had indeed sent me a letter.
I think sometimes we miss God’s letters to us, attributing his loving encouragement through others as “coincidence” or “happenstance.” To do so is to rob him of the praise he deserves for reaching out to us.
My friend’s obedience in sending me the photo on the day that God prompted her to do so reflects so beautifully the depth of this verse in 2 Corinthians 3:3.
“You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
“The Spirit of the living God” indeed prompted her to be a vessel of his loving kindness to me that day. She could have ignored the prompting or shrugged it off as a silly thought, but instead, she followed through and became “a letter from Christ” to me, bringing me hope and restoring my confidence in his love.
It may have seemed like a small thing to her, but it had eternal significance to me.
For Your Reflection…
How is God prompting you to be “a letter from Christ” to someone? If he is nudging you to act, don’t ignore it. Someone may need to hear from him on your behalf today!