Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Dovotion September 7, 2016


The postal system….  When you say the ‘postal system’ people immediately conjure up different images - the friendly post person who walks the street with their bags over their shoulders full of mail, walking up to each person’s door or to their curb side box and deposting their handful of mail.  We lived in a house once where the post person had to walk up the steps of our front porch and put the mail through a slot in the wall beside the front door.  It was really convenient for us but obviously not for the postman and after a while we received a notice that we were going to have to put a mail box down by the sidewalk……
Now-a-days the  mail deliveries are more likely to be made by a person in a little white truck who pulls up to the box by the road and injects the mail into the box and continues on.  Of course when we lived in a rural area the mail was brought by a person in their personal vehicle - a contractor who bid for the right to be the one who took the mail out into the countryside and deposit the mail into not a curbside box but a corner where there was a plethora of mailboxes that people living in the area would have to come to and pick up their letters..  
Many people get their mail at their local post office where they can take their key and open their box (although remember the days when you had a combination lock on your mail box and you spun the dial to your specific numbers to retrieve the mail?).  We had a box at the local post office for a while but our particular post office only would open for specific hours for you to get your mail and that really didn’t work for us.  Plus we thought - "Why are we paying to get the mail when they can bring the mail to us for free........"
Of course we often complain about the mail.  The cost of stamps keeps going up, the services keep getting reduced, mail doesn’t come as quickly as we think it should and sometimes our boxes are a little smushed but never-the-less we depend upon the post office and those postal workers (who are often the brunt of our aggravation and we wonder why ‘going postal’ has become a synonym of utter frustration!).
What precipitated this ruminating on the postal service was our latest experience with receiving our mail.  We got home after being away for a couple of days and there in our curb side post box was a note that we had a certified letter - that little pink slip that shows up in your mail box which somehow you know is going to cause you an extensive amount of aggravation!  It this particular pink slip surely did…
We read the slip over several times and we thought by reading all the different little areas that had information and looking at all the checkmarks that all we needed to do was to sign it and put it back in the mail box and the next postal delivery there would be our certified letter.  Well, obviously we didn’t read correctly because the next day as we checked our mail box there the slip remained and there was no certified letter.  
When you have a conundrum and aren’t sure what to do,  a google search is in order… (for those of you who are not familiar with google searches this is a way to search for how to information on the internet).  We found that if you email the local post office and tell them to redeliver the letter then they will - but not all the time we learned.  We sent the email as instructed and the next day when we checked our mail box there was another pink slip and a letter from our mail deliverer.  The letter pointed out that if we had read the pink slip better we would have noticed that the box was checked which stated that this letter could only be accepted by a real live person and could not be left in a post box.  The letter also stated that if we went to the local post office the next morning the letter would be there.
Well, you know what we did.  Off to the post office the next morning, stood in line (cause there is always a line) and when it came our turn the nice postal worker took our pink slips and headed off into the deeper recesses of the post office building to locate our letter.  10 minutes later she returns and tells us that the supervisor had just seen the email and had sent our letter back out to be delivered to our house.  We shook the dust off our feet and headed back home...
Another conundrum - my husband and I both needed to work.  How was a real live person going to be at home to get this certified letter that had entered the circular world of the postal service….. .  
I sent my husband to work and I decided I would wait for the letter.  I really wasn’t sure what time the post person came but I was pretty sure it was in the afternoon - so I hurriedly got my work caught up and after lunch I got a chair and sat out under the tree in front of my house and patiently waited for the post person to show up at my curb side box in their little white truck……  I even had a note written to tape to the front of the post box explaining how I was there but only ran inside for a moment and to please wait for me…..  Just in case that eventuality would occur.
Turned out to be a very enjoyable afternoon as I sat in my chair under the shady tree and read a book and waited for that certified letter to appear in the little white truck…..
There were moments during this certified letter search that frustration began to over ride common sense and understanding that the system was working but just not in a user friendly way.  And sometimes we feel the same frustration with God.  We want God to straighten our path; we want God to simplify our life; we want God to just make miracles appear at our doorstep at our command….. and when it doesn’t happen we wonder where God is and why God isn’t listening and didn’t God promise that if we just prayed he would ‘give us all things’?  
But just like the postal system promises to get us our mail - it never promises it will be a smooth and easy process.  God does promise the best for us; God does promise to answer our prayers; God does promise to give us what we need…..  And God knows what our needs are; God knows when is best for us and when it is best for us and God hears our every prayer - and God knows the proper answer to that prayer which is not always to give us everything we want….
So never grow impatient or frustrated with God - sit back in your chair and know that God is caring for us in the way God knows what is best; Don’t ever think that your prayers are like a certified letter that is lost in the postal loop.
God hears and God knows and you can trust in that with all your being.

These devotions began in 2006 as a way to give us a midweek boost as we live out our lives as the people of God!  Feel free to share them if you wish.