Monday, September 8, 2014

a letter to Screwtape from my teenage self

Long, long ago, in the last century {!}, I went to a very small Christian high school and was incredibly fortunate to have one of the best English teachers (on the planet). Looking back on those days, it was such a blessing to have a good teacher who not only believed in Jesus, but pressed us to know Him more by making us read authors like C.S. Lewis before we went out into the world. And, of course, it was also a huge blessing to have parents who sacrificed so much to allow me to be there in the first place. {Thank you mom and dad!}.

As I was sorting through old boxes from the attic this afternoon, I found an interesting entry in my senior English journal- a class assignment in response to reading Screwtape Letters. I had completely forgotten about this letter to Satan's famous {fictitious} henchman, but I am so glad I saved it all these years. I found it quite entertaining to read this from my 17-year-old self! :) And surprisingly {or maybe not?}, 14 years later I find myself still battling with many of the same struggles I did as a teenager.

Dear Screwtape,

I am writing my one and only letter to express my displeasure in your former actions. I have become a first hand witness of your dastardly wiles.

As you encouraged discord between my parents, I became confused and upset. I even wondered if God was still there. And I errantly fell into your plan. You wished me to do exactly what others have previously done, to fall away from God. But that is where you failed, Screwtape. I remained in contact with your Enemy and my Savior, Jesus Christ. And that gave me the advantage. I overcame the doubt and anger and trusted in the infallible will of God.

I grew older, and as hormones attacked, you also attacked. I liked to throw my contumacious fits. You loved it when I slammed doors because my will was not immediately appeased. But toward the latter part of my teenage years, I realized through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit that a rebellious attitude does not please the Father. Only a sweet, humble spirit will be accepted by Him.

Then you found another area of my life in which to parade your antics. And I easily complied to your whispered defenses in listening to unglorifying music. It was probably your easiest battle to win. To this day I struggle with wrong music.

When I began to read my Bible and pray with an open heart, you hurriedly intercepted the petitions with thoughts of the next day's work. And you were not easily deterred. I had to pray to the Lord that He remove your presence. And as He has promised as I resisted you, you were forced to flee.

I wanted to reiterate in this letter, Screwtape, that although you have power (in this life on earth) to affect me, your power is limited by the Father and the shed blood of Christ Jesus. Eventually you will be in a worse condition than I. An eternal position and place in the fiery flames awaits you. I am truly sorry about your future situation, and I rejoice that I will not be there beside you.

But I forgive you, Screwtape. The wiles and temptations you created in my life were used to increase my faith in the Almighty, Omnipotent God.

Your patient,

Do you ever find yourself struggling with the same things you did decades before?

Have you seen progress in your Christian walk with the Lord? How would you rate it now? Are you living for Him daily?

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