I have a problem with mailboxes. Not my own mailbox or the ones at the post office, of course, but I have a real problem dropping letters into one of those remote blue boxes on the side of the road. It’s irrational, but I always fear that mailbox is the forgotten mailbox, the one that never gets collected. I think, What if the post office has abandoned this particular box? How would I know? After all, I’ve never seen a mail carrier here. It’s absurd, but it tasks me. Sometimes our Christian walk can feel that way too, except we’re the blue box. When we find ourselves in a season of waiting, it’s easy to start wondering if we’ve been abandoned. That’s when we start playing the negativity game: What if God dropped this desire in my heart, but he’s never coming to pick it up? Maybe I’ve been a terrible delivery box and I’m not worth being on His route anymore. What if God has forgotten me?
Here’s the thing to remember, the success of a letter being delivered is not contingent on the quality of the mailbox. It is only contingent on the one who delivers it. God does incredible things through our inabilities so He might be glorified, and the mission he’s put on your heart is His message to be delivered. I may never see all the workings that go into delivering a letter after I put it in the mailbox, but I don’t need to see how it happens to trust that it will happen. Sometimes a mailbox needs to be repaired, that’s true, but you never have to worry that the post office will forget that it commissioned that box for a reason. As much as I’d like to be, I’m not in charge of God’s route schedule or what gets delivered on which days, but I am responsible for accepting the messages when they arrive and keeping them safe until he sends someone to pick that message up from me (Yes, sometimes you have to go out as the carrier, but that’s a different post. Today we’re mailboxes).
God has not forgotten you. God did not place a desire in your heart and then abandon you. There will undoubtedly be times of pain and suffering in your life. There will be moments when it seems like the world is against you, and days when it feels like you’re not strong enough to go on, but God has not forgotten you:
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. (Isaiah 49:15-16)
God didn’t just write your name in the Book of Life, he wrote your name on His own hand! I don’t have to worry that he’s forgotten me, because he sees me every day. That’s a powerful promise to grab hold of when we’re struggling. We may not be able to control when things happen; we may not know when God will deliver us, but we can be sure of one thing: God’s grace, comfort and love are not like the mail system at all—those qualities of God are more like On-Demand service. They’re available whenever you ask for them and He’s as desperate as a father looking for a missing child to embrace you. But instead of a remote control you access that relationship through prayer and reading his Word. That is where you’ll be reassured that He’s not forgotten you.
DON’T THINK: “It looks like God has forgotten me.”
THINK: “God wrote my name on His hand, and I know he wants me closer to Him.”
Prayer: Father God, I get caught up in my own misery and know I should be putting that energy into seeking you. Teach me to find you in prayer. Teach me to find you in your Word. Help me feel your presence when I feel alone. Amen.
Engage: Have you ever felt like the mailbox instead of a mail carrier? How does reading God’s word change your perspective?
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© Joshua J. Masters and Think This, Not That, 2012.
Photo Credit: laffertyryan