“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105 NIV)
Last night I watched the show Survivor. I love to watch it because it amazes me what people will do for a million dollars. They will be dropped off in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of strangers and are told to survive. They have no food or shelter. They may or may not have any survival skills. They have to learn to start a fire, fetch water and find food. Some do well with this challenge. Others do not. Last night was the Survivor Auction. Each contestant was given five hundred dollars to use for bidding. They bid on food, letters from home and an advantage for an upcoming challenge. One of the contestants spent all of her money on a letter from home. There was no question in her mind; she needed to hear from a loved one. Without hesitation, she laid down all she had for that letter.
As the woman opened her letter she cried, even sobbed. Then she stated something like, “My father has never in my life written me a letter.” She began to cry harder realizing her father loved her enough to write to her. The letter her father wrote encouraged her. He told her he had faith in her and reminded her of her strength. He finished the letter by telling her he loved her. She was overwhelmed with emotion. She was thankful. She was at peace.
This particular woman is one of my least favorite contestants. She is portrayed as a rude and offensive person. She seems to be without morals. But in that moment, my heart went out to her. I realized she too longed to be loved. She needed to be encouraged. She was in a place she has never been before and was frightened. Being among strangers in a land that was unknown, she felt insecure. Haven’t we all been there?
I think the show Survivor appeals to so many because it is indicative of life. We walk with God on the path He has chosen. The path is not always smooth. There are times we have to climb over and through difficult terrain in order to move on. We find ourselves in situations and circumstances we have never imagined we would be. We have to deal with things that are unfamiliar to us, even foreign. They can be heartbreaking and devastating. And there are times we feel alone. But we are not. Our Father in heaven has written us a letter.
Our letter from God is the Bible. It wasn’t written in a day. He took His time writing what He knew we would need. His Word is deliberately filled with encouragement and love. It is full of wisdom meant to guide us. He included testimonies of people like us walking through the torrential storms of life He wrote about righteous men living through unforeseen and unfair circumstances. He shared the feelings and the hurt these men endured. And He wrote the stories of their redemption. Written in this book are chapters sharing joys of celebration along with sorrows of devastation. God included everything we could possibly experience in this life. He loved us enough to write it down.
The woman in the show broke down because she remembered her father loves her. Regardless of how we act or where we may be in life, we can be assured our Father has the deepest affection for us. He wrote about that love in a letter.