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IN THE CARPENTER’S WORKSHOP: In the mailbox

The other day as I drove along, I saw a man come out of his house, walk the long driveway to the road and open the door of his mailbox.  He looked inside, pulled out the mail and walked back to his house as he checked to see what had arrived.

A daily ritual for most of us, the discovery of what might be in the mailbox.  It’s a moment of  expectation, a hope that something wonderful will happen.  One never knows what will be in the mailbox...  

Good news or bad, a bill or a chance to win a million dollars from a famous sweepstakes, an invitation to a wedding, a note from a long lost friend or a letter returned because you forgot to put the address or postage stamp on the front.

Most mail I check is in the mailbox on my computer each day.  I read notes about worship and meetings and conversations with members and friends.  The possibilities are endless.

A movie star’s survival depends upon the metaphorical mailbox.  Hedda Hopper wrote, “Two of the cruelest, most primitive punishments our town deals out to those who fall from favor are the empty mailbox and the silent telephone.”

If they don’t hear from a potential employer, they don’t work.  If the right letter is in the mailbox, they do.

We wait.  We pray.  We hope.  And another day comes to pass.

The most important mail for the Christian comes from God.  He has letter for you in his mailbag right now.  

The tragedy for many is that they wait their whole lives to hear from God, but because of false expectations or human limitations, they do not hear even when he speaks.

Part of the reason for not hearing is that we do not stop long enough.  The Bible says to “be still and know that I am God.”  If we are never still, if we do not wait or open our hearts, we will not experience what God has to say.

Another part might be that we don’t know the most important ingredient in prayer, which is listening.  We give God a list of the things we want; we may even give him thanks for all his blessings.  We do not wait to hear his answer, the “heavenly mail” which God posts to his people each day.

When we do open that heavenly mailbox, God begins to speak.  It is our choice to open or not.  “Test me in this,” God says, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” ~ Malachi 3:10

The key to opening the mailbox in this case is tithing, offering to God from the blessings he has given us, but there are many other keys.

Jesus tells Peter and us, “I will give you the keys to the kingdom.”  That key opens the mailboxes or the doors of faith, for all people to find Christianity for the first time.

What a mailbox moment!  Jesus says, “Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” ~ Rev 3:20

An encounter with Jesus, a conversation with God, the real deal meal with a heavenly taste, is what will be in our mailbox if we check it on a regular basis.  God waits to speak and communicate with his people.

I believe we have our own individual mailbox for God, just a little different from the one we use for the local postal service.  That mailbox has our name on it.  There is one for each member of our household.

It is not planted in the ground or nailed to the house.  It goes with us as we go to work or travel across the country or world.  It is adaptable for large or small messages or packages and can hold anything God sends with ease.

The heavenly mailbox is never empty.  There is always a word or letter from God in there.

So we must seek, pray and expect God to talk with us, not once but many times a day.  Our prayer, our dream, our daily seeking is for the most important mail we could ever receive.

Kathleen Kelly, in the movie “You’ve Got Mail,” sat at her computer and thought.  “What will NY152 say today, I wonder?  I turn on my computer.  I wait impatiently as it connects.  I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You’ve got mail.  I hear nothing.  Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart.  I have mail.  From you.”

The seeking is the beginning.  God has posted the letter you have been waiting for forever.  It is in the mailbox!