As I was unpacking boxes once again in our garage, I came across a Romanian Bible. I purchased this Bible for a friend several years ago. His address is tucked inside, but somehow I never managed to walk it over to the post office. (That makes my heart sad.)
Have you ever done that? Purchased a gift for someone or even written a letter and then never mailed it? I seem to do this a lot. Keeping in contact with others when the postal service is involved seems to add a layer of difficulty that I have a hard time hurdling.
I’ll put the package in my purse (think over-sized black hole filled with diapers, a Bible, and other books) and forget to stop by the post office I drive by at least once per week. Or I think I’ve mailed the item, only to realize that it was all packaged and ready to go, but not actually mailed.
Mailing Forgotten Mail
Although I’ve gotten slightly (only slightly) better about this over the years, I have determined that any time I find one of those items that I took the time to purchase or write, I’m going to send it anyway. I attach a note letting the person know why I’m sending it now.
This may sound absolutely absurd and even embarrassing (and it is embarrassing), but I can’t help but think that even now it might bring that person encouragement or fall into the hands of someone who needs those very words.
Christ Knocking on Hearts
This leads me back to the Romanian Bible. I purchased it for a person I became very close friends with while living in Spain.We met at the congregation I worshiped with while living there. I sat in the “foreigner section” and he and I hit it off. We became good friends and had many long talks about the Scriptures. His story is absolutely amazing.
Christ had been knocking on his heart a long time.
His mother became a Christian and one of his very best friends became a Christian too. Seeing the change in his friend’s life brought him to where I later met him. By the time we became friends, he had been attending worship for about five years.
He felt Christ knocking on his heart and wanted to answer, but did not believe he was ready to follow Christ yet. He knew he was a sinner and that he needed Jesus, but he believed he had to clean himself up before coming to Jesus. Been there and unsuccessfully tried to doing that! This is part of the reason why I think God placed me in his life. His sin struggles were different than mine, but we both had believed the lie that we had to be perfect to come to Jesus.
Once the truth is established that only Christ can save us from our sins, we then have to face the decision of being willing to allow Jesus to lead us away from that sin.
After about seven months, my friend finally made the decision to follow Christ no matter the cost. It was so exciting!
It was exciting to see him realize that Jesus meant what He said:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” – Mark 2:18
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
Pray Specifically Please
Something about reading the Bible in our native tongue seems to have more of an impact. Although my friend spoke Spanish fluently, he wanted a Bible in his language. He really liked my Spanish/English Bible and wondered if there was a Spanish/Romanian or an Romanian/English Bible to be found. At that time, I couldn’t find one anywhere. it seemed difficult to find a bilingual Bible that had both Old and New Testament.
A few years after his initial request, I came across a Romanian Bible that had both Old and New Testament! It wasn’t exactly what he wanted but it was in his native language.
So here I am today, holding it in my hand, about to package it up, and praying over it.
I lost touch with my friend over the years because I have not been the best snail mail pen pal and he was unfamiliar with how to use the internet.
As I hold this Romanian Bible in my hand, I pray… and I would love for you to pray very specifically with me.
Lord, we praise you for all that you are! For being a God not just to the Israelites but to the whole world. You knock on each of our hearts asking to be given permission to come in. We praise you for those who have made the decision to follow you. We pray boldness and wisdom over all of us who have made this decision too. Let us daily meditate on your word and have courage to live out what you are teaching us.
We specifically pray over this Romanian Bible. I confess my lack of follow-through years ago when you initially put this Bible into my hands. My prayer is that my friend’s faith has continued to grow and that his love for you has sparked flames of faith in others. I pray that if he does not already have one, that this Bible will make it into his hands. And if he does possess one, that someone who needs to read your words in Romanian will receive it. We pray a seed of hope will be planted and that another legacy of faith will be established.
In the One who leaves the ninety-nine to go after the one that is lost – Amen!
And now I’m off to mail this forgotten mail.