God’s Message In A Bottle
Life is a little like a message in a bottle, to be carried by the winds and the tides.(Gene Tierney)
A message in a bottle is mysterious, romantic, and suspenseful.
The writer tosses it into water with hope and expectation. Will they be rescued? Will they find love? Will they meet a friend? Will their longing be fulfilled?
One who discovers a message feels the weighty intrigue. Will they be the answer?
An answer to a message set adrift on the water is nothing short of miraculous. They’ve helped lonely people find love, provided closure to families, and provided missing history. They can be messages from the past that give strength for the day and bright hope for tomorrow.
Across many miles, the passage of time, and sometimes a grave, the hearts of the sender and receiver are united.
Intrigued by sending message in a bottle, 10 year old Josh Baker dumped out the entire bottle of his mom’s vanilla extract and jotted this note. “My name is Josh Baker. I’m 10. If you find this, put it on the news. The date is April 16, 1995.” He tossed it into White Lake near his Wisconsin home. After high school, he survived a tour in Iraq, but was killed in a tragic car accident. The small town of 345 people was deeply grieved by his death.
Six months later, one of his friends saw something glimmering in the water.
It was a vanilla extract bottle.
Josh spoke from the grave. And, as he desired, the event was broadcast on CBS news.
In 1956 a Swedish sailor by the name of Ake Viking was looking for love in watery places, so bottled the message, “To Someone Beautiful and Far Away.”
Two years later his answered by a Sicilian woman who said, “I am not beautiful, but it seems so miraculous that this little bottle should have traveled so far and long to reach me that I must send you an answer.” After corresponding awhile they were married. The message united two lonely hearts.
The Lord has written an entire love letter to us, the Bible, but he still has a message in a bottle for us.
You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into your bottle;
Are they not in your book?
Our tears. He not only saves them, He writes about them.
As parents, we chronicle our children’s victories. We tape their teeth to pages in a baby book. We post pics of them crossing the finish line or playing an instrument on Facebook. We boast, brag, support, and love on our kids in private and public ways.
Why does the Lord chronicle our tears in his book?
Because the soul-stirring work of our tears is what makes us more like his precious son, Jesus. Things that cause us to weep are caused or allowed by the Lord to refine our faith, which is more precious than gold.
We cry over our sin when we can’t control our flesh. We cry in our affliction when we can’t control the circumstances. We cry when death separates us from loved ones.
The common element that binds all Christians together with Christ is suffering. He is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. But he has a promise for those tears.
Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
Suffering and glory walk together in the scriptures. If we suffer with him, we will be glorified with him. Those tears are the seed for our Heavenly rewards.
The Lord lets the sparrow fall. He sees and knows, but he doesn’t capture them. Do you remember he told us we were more important than the sparrows? He doesn’t let one tear to fall to the ground. People ask where God is in the midst of their sufferings. He’s in the heavens, collecting their tears and recording their stories, sending comfort from Heaven through the Holy Spirit and the Bible.
God’s message in a bottle is the answer we are all longing for, we can be rescued and we are loved. His action proves we are never alone or unnoticed in our sorrows.
He captures each tear until the time when we’ll stand in his presence and with his nail-scarred hands, he will wipe away the final tear.
Across many miles, the passage of time, and a grave, the hearts of the sender and receiver will be united eternally. And that answer is nothing short of miraculous.