Have you ever wanted to write a letter to God? If you sat down right now to compose a message to the Creator of the universe, what would you say?
I think most would go with the whole series of “why?” questions…why me God? Why did my parents divorce? Why am I depressed a lot? Why did you make me this way? Why are things turning out like this?
Valid questions to be sure – and also ones that God is not threatened or angered by. Life is sometimes plain and simple awful, and it is human nature to point our finger at the sky and blame the One in charge – right?
That is certainly something Tyler Doherty could have done, and no one would have blamed him.
Who is Tyler Doherty? Well that’s not his real name, but he is a real 8 year old boy who went from an easy going, soccer playing childhood to the darkest journey anyone could ever face when one simple word entered his world:
In the process of his battle with this deadly disease, Tyler had to quit his beloved sport, lose his hair and eyebrows, and face a daily battle with a reality that could crush the spirit of anyone on the planet.
But Tyler had an unshakeable relationship with God…a childlike faith that turned his pain and discouragement into a community transformation. That’s why the letters he writes to God are not about the “why,” or even about him. Tyler writes to God about other people and their problems, and in turn becomes a living letter from God to everyone around him.
And now his story has the chance to transform – not hundreds – but literally millions of lives through the movie Letters to God.
I can’t say if I would have the faith that Tyler had when facing a giant of that size, but one thing I have in common with him is that I, too, am a living letter from God to the people around me.
And if you have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, this statement is true about you:
Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts (2 Corinthians 2:2-3).
This truth formed the foundation of Tyler ‘s outlook on life. He wrote pen and ink letters to God on behalf of others, and in turn God used him to be a beating heart letter from Jesus Christ. His deepest wish was that the sad, hurting, and broken people in his world would come to know God.
We’ve been granted an unbelievable opportunity – haven’t we? Every day God is texting the world through our eyes, our words, our attitudes, and our actions. The ink from our hearts bleeds onto the paper of our world, painting a picture of Jesus Christ.
So what kind of living letter are you? The answer to this question can be found in another question:
What kind of letters are you writing to God?
Your prayers are your letters, so if they are generally composed of complaints, questions, and self-focused requests, then that is the kind of God the people around you will see.
How about we all start a new letter writing campaign? One that asks God to touch lives and heal the pain in our corner of the world. One that begs God for the salvation of our friends who don’t know Him because they haven’t trusted in Jesus Christ as their only hope of salvation.
Let me start this campaign with a letter from God that changed me to the core of my being:
He was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the L ord laid on him
the sins of us all (Isaiah 53:5-6).
Remember, the ink that God is using to write His message to the world through you was paid for with the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. Don’t waste this precious gift with selfish and self-centered prayers and living, rather make each day a magnificent composition to your Savior, then watch Him write His message of unconditional love and salvation to everyone around you!
Ask your friends what they would put in a letter to God. Would they ask questions? Would they question His goodness? Or would they be more like Tyler and praise God for the life they’ve been given? Pray for an opportunity to talk about the Biblical description of Christians as “living letters”‘ from God, telling the world about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:15-17).
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing (Philippians 2:14-16).