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When I was looking through my old address book recently, I realized it had to go. I’d marked through all the names of friends and family who had died, and I’d tried to keep up with the address changes of other loved ones.
My son James wins the prize with eight such changes since he left home for college. As a result, old addresses are scratched through and new ones are squeezed in. I’ve also tried to squeeze in names and addresses of new friends. What a mess! So, I bought a new book last week and am planning on filling it out soon.
Some of the names on my list are long-standing ones — friends from my own college days, almost 50 years ago, for example — and people I have known in places we have moved away from. I was thrilled to receive a Christmas card this year from one of my friends in Spring Hope. It’s fun to keep up with these people, if only once a year.
As I think about writing the names of people in an address book, I remember how Revelation talks about God’s writing information in His books: “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books” (20:12). The Book of Life contains the names of people who have been redeemed by God.
Are these redeemed names safe from removal? No, since Revelation 3:5 says, “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life.”
I haven’t marked out any names from my address book, even if I haven’t heard from some people in years. As long as I know they are alive, I don’t give up on them. I think God gives us many chances, too. He won’t remove our names until He knows we have given up on Him.
Donna Crowe is a minister’s wife.