I asked Jesus to come into my life as my Savior and to rule over my life as Lord when I was a somewhat rebellious, needy, senior in high school. I was set -- I thought -- seven years later. I had finished college, been awarded my pilot wings by the Air Force, had my assignment to fly a jet bomber at a newly constructed base (Little Rock) and was engaged to be married in two months to a wonderful girl who had been named a Baylor beauty two years in a row. Life was complete!
I was a mere 25 at the time, and now I am 90! In Christ, I am exchanging that youthful optimism, energy and naivety of being younger for the confidence, joy and wisdom of being older. There is no comparison to what I have found in Christ, forever, power, purpose, and peace!
When I went to my mailbox one day in the summer of 1957 at the Little Rock Air Force Base Post Office, I had zero expectation that the Lord was going to teach me a lifelong lesson I use to this day. I had three pieces of mail, and by my "all wise" habit, I looked just at the return address. First was Mobile: I knew it was a bill for gasoline I had used in my car. Second was Sears: I surmised a sale on jockey shorts (who would've ever thought they would go out of business). Third was a pale blue personal envelope with "S.D." at the top left was beautiful script with an X and an O after the initials. All of us know what that means!
What was the lesson? Simple! What letter did I choose to read first? It was an easy choice! The author I was in love with, and who was in love with me! Since that moment -- over 65 years ago -- my understanding of the Bible has never been the same. The Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelations, are my love letters from God about our fantastic potential in the future. The Bible is not filled with conditional "I love you's" telling us what we owe God, ordering us to do this, and don't do that. Neither is it a goodie bag of personal desire, peace, good health, happiness, riches, success, problem free life, etc.
Too many Christians fail at reading the Bible daily, which shows their love for God is lacking. It is only when we read his Word that we are learning how to love him, and hear his spirit voice directing our path. The Bible is not a collection of advertisements, but a love letter, and if we read it like that, our debts and opportunities will matter as they should. Jesus declared, "In this world, you will have trouble but take heart. I have overcome the world"! (John 16:33). His love letter tells those who love him how they can live in triumph!
H.D. McCarty pastored one of Fayetteville's largest churches for 39 years, served as the volunteer chaplain of the Razorbacks for 30 years and is a retired pilot and Air Force chaplain. Email him at [email protected]