“Letters to Heaven” Dear God,

Dear God,

      Though the biggest challenges of my life lie off in the distance and are yet to come,  I feel more mentally equipped and spiritually prepared to be an active participant in my own small purpose within your creation than I would have ever thought possible.

      At this stage of my life, where I should  be “winding down”, looking forward to retiring, and enjoying the fruits of my labor, I am forced to acknowledge that I have put myself in a position where I must begin again, as if I were a young man – which I am not.

      Curiously enough, I find that I look forward to that beginning with no small measure of excitement and pleasure. And it is all due to the fact that, in an incredibly short amount of time, I have come to know you, to trust you, to love you, and to rely on you for everything.

      And for having the patience to wait for me to arrive at this point, I thank you, Lord, from the bottom of my heart.

      It may have been human hands that physically picked my body up from that blood-covered floor, but it was your love that caused it to happen – it was YOUR love that lifted me up and gave me life once again.

      For this, I thank You each and every day.

      We spend a lot of time together these days, and every second is – to me – a blessing. Indeed, every breath that I take is a gift from You and is one stolen from the hand of evil that were so tightly wrapped around me that they were nearly successful in squeezing the remaining life from my body.

      It’s a fantastic deal really, this arrangement You and I have, Lord. I give you all of my troubles, problems, worries and fears.

      I give You the burden of all of my sins.

      You give me forgiveness and – through the wisdom of your word and the power of your spirit – You give me the ability to forgive myself.

      I am thankful to You, Father, for ALL of this.

      Your light shines on the path that I walk and You illuminate all that is important.

      You open my eyes to the world you created, and all of the people in it, and You have taught me to ask several questions:

–          “What can I do for others to help them find what took me such a long and painful journey to find?”

–          ”How can I help others to understand what it means to know you without them needing to surrender to the same measure of sadness that I did before turning to you?”

–          ”How can I help others to experience the shear joy and feeling of freedom that comes from stepping out of their darkness and into your light?”

      For helping me to become someone who would even attempt to and answer to those questions, I thank You once again.

      These are very troubled times in the history of Your creation. This is a very troubled world.

      At a time when You are needed the most, people turn towards You the least; because to turn towards You means turning away from so many things that provide instant gratification, meaningless pleasure, and momentary satisfaction.

      Your apostle Paul could easily have been describing today’s troubled times when he wrote:

“For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at god, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.

They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.

They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than god.

They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them Godly.”

                                                                                    –2 Timothy 3:2-5a

      As the saying goes, “If You are not part of the solution, You are part of the problem.”

      Thanks to You, Lord, I am certain that I still have the time, and will get the opportunity, to be a part of the solution, and I guess I figured that by writing an open letter to You full of all the things I talk with You about daily, maybe – just maybe – someone else will stop and think and ask a few questions of themselves.

      There will be those who will read these words and will react skeptically, and with cynicism, thinking the worst and moaning about the insincerity of “prison converts”.

      I know this, and to them I will respond with, “obviously I am not trying to win the approval of people but of God.” Galatians 1:10A NLT

      And as I read more and more of Your wisdom, God, I learn, and as I learn I realize I must share what I have learned with others. “The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying, ‘No, go back to your family, and tell them everything god has done for You.’”

      So here I am, and You have helped me again, Lord, and – with faith – perhaps I can help someone else.

      Even if it is just a little.

      Thank You,

-Tony.

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