September 18, 2013
Words that Linger
"Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD ..." Psalm 102:18 (NIV)
"Well, you get what you pay for!" I muttered under my breath, frustrated as I held the broken weed eater. Were these things supposed to be disposable? Or was my family particularly hard on garden equipment?
Stomping to the garbage can, I shoved the rickety weed eater in with force. I brushed stray blades of grass from my hands and strode back to the house, thoroughly annoyed with my frugal habits that caused me to "save money" by buying the cheapest model. Again.
Later that day, I stood in the lawn and garden store, shopping for a replacement. Normally I pick the least expensive one, but obviously that approach wasn't working. Could higher priced weed eaters really be that much better? Deciding to give it a shot, I selected a mid-range model that has now survived my lawn, and my teenagers, for over a year.
Thankfully, someone, somewhere built a weed eater that lasts longer than a few months. There had to have been intentionality in the design, higher quality of parts and more attention to detail during the assembly for this to happen. The care put into the building of my new weed eater has made a difference.
Isn't this true of many things in our lives? When a carpenter builds a cabinet to last, it is built with quality woods and hardware. When a seamstress makes a dress to pass down to her daughter, her stitches are tighter and straighter. The same is true with words.
Words crafted to last are chosen with care.
The Bible demonstrates this statement. Whether spoken to hearts, etched in a tablet or recorded on a scroll, God made sure His words were written to be passed from one generation to the next. His Words were penned to change lives—the lives of the people who walked through the water, those who tried to walk on it, and ours! Psalm 102:18 evidences this truth: "Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD ..."
Words written for a future generation are chosen and assembled differently. They are selected intentionally, pondered over and placed in just the right order. This isn't the sticky note reminder you jot down quickly, ready to toss when the task is done. However, some life-changing words have been written on the backs of envelopes or scribbled on napkins. The medium doesn't matter—the care given does.
This verse in Psalm 102 speaks directly to me. My written words matter. Whether it's a letter composed to a loved one, a note in a lunch box, an email to my co-workers or a book, I can write the first words that come to mind, or I can consider them carefully. My words can have lasting impact for those I love.
A few weeks ago I opened my lingerie drawer (the perfect hiding place where children won't look) and withdrew a wrinkled envelope. Sitting on the edge of my bed, I lifted the flap and withdrew a folded letter. Smoothing it out, I saw my husband's teenage sprawl covering the page. I read the words, smiled and refolded the letter. Placing it in the envelope again, I tucked it back under silky things. For now, I keep this letter close to my heart. But one day I'll share it with our children as a record of their parents' bond.
Because words written to last matter.
Heavenly Father, thank You for making sure Your words were written carefully for me. They are a lifeline in hard times and help me know and love You more. Help me to give more care to my words, In Jesus' Name, amen.
Has God called you to write? If so, we'd like to invite you to learn more about a new program at Proverbs 31 Ministries called Compel. It's a membership site starting this October for influencers who want to write words that move people. Sign up for our announcement list and receive three free writing-related gifts by clicking here.
Pick up your copy of the NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women, a copy of God's love letter to you that you can one day pass on to a future generation!
Reflect and Respond:
What writing has impacted you most in your life?
Write a note of encouragement to someone this week.
Jeremiah 30:1-2, "This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 'This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: "Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you."'" (NIV)
© 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105