It was Sunday morning and my husband looked a little more animated than usual as he returned from his walk up our gravel driveway. The newspaper had not been read so I thought he must have crossed paths with a snake or a skunk. My husband has large eyes, and when agitated, he appears a cross between Rodney Dangerfield and Gene Wilder. When I asked the reason for his frustration he replied, “Our mailbox has been decapitated again!”
It took all my strength not to chuckle at his description of the top of the mailbox lying in the driveway, and the explosion of parts scattered to and fro. Curious, I asked if he had gathered up the pieces, and I got his best Rodney Wilder look. Rather than provoke, I decided to check things out for myself and let him read the paper.
With the top missing, the mailbox did appear headless. I just stood in our driveway and pondered for a few seconds why anyone would do this to someone’s mailbox? Oh I know teenagers find these sorts of things funny, but I wasn’t sure if a teenager had actually done this act. It seemed premeditated, with a crowbar or some kind of tool used to pry the top off the mailbox. They obviously did not expect the base to be set in concrete as it remained intact. Looking around, I saw the metal letters of our name and house number scattered and reflecting in the morning sunlight. There was a lot of anger in the act as the letters had been crumpled with attempts to tear them apart.
As I continued picking up the front and back of the mailbox, a soft cool breeze blew across my face, and in that fresh wind, God reminded me that He sees everything, and He loves that person just like He loves me. The Holy Spirit reminded me God knows exactly who is responsible because He is omnipresent, seeing and knowing all things.
The ball was in my court, and it was up to me to decide how to handle the situation. Would I allow hate to gain a foothold in my heart, or would I choose love in the face of frustration? In that moment I realized God was teaching a valuable lesson about maturity and my faith walk with Him. It is quite natural to explode with anger, bitterness, and speak curses over the mystery person; that is exactly what Satan wants you to do. God wants us to depend on His supernatural power for strength in the face of adversity. He wants us to choose His high road and soar like an eagle in flight.
The choice was mine to make. Choosing to pray for those who intentionally hurt or wreak havoc on your life is not an easy thing to do. But, if I am obeying God, and practicing my faith, it is time to put legs to my Faith and do things God’s way. God sees this person as His beautiful creation, and He knows there is goodness inside just waiting to be put on display. Because God made us, He knows the gifts, talents and potential, He created for His Kingdom work. God is a good father, and because He dearly loves us, He will discipline His children to fulfill both His promises, and their potential.
The Holy Spirit was not done. I was reminded that God will not give us greater responsibility and bigger things until we have proven we can handle the little things. I thought to myself, “a mailbox is a little thing, but anger, hatred and vengeance, those are terrible things. Why would I invite those things into my life?” God has forgiven me many, many times; shouldn’t I be willing to forgive this person?
God calls us to repent (turn from our wicked ways) and come to Him for a fresh start in life. In Romans 12:19 of the Message, God tells us, “Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. I’ll do the judging, says God. I’ll take care of it.” God’s way of handling people and situations takes discipline, hard work, and full faith and trust. Thank God the rewards are eternal!
So, whoever felt the need to destroy our mailbox, I forgive you. It is possible you may not know about the love of Christ, so I pray God will have His way with you. Even though finding our mailbox in pieces was a little annoying, it will not steal my joy. A mailbox can be replaced, and a small price for you to know Jesus’ love. I pray the Lord will overwhelm you today with His kindness and His mercy. Did you know that YOU are His earthly masterpiece; supremely valued and loved? God placed His best inside of you, and gave His best for you when He gave His Son Jesus as a ransom for sin. I am praying God will show you the plan and purpose He has for your life. It is never too late to grow up, so why not give love a chance to grow?
“You’re familiar with the old written law, Love your friend, and its unwritten companion, Hate your enemy. I am challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run of the mill sinner does that.”
“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”
What is your little thing; maybe reacting to a careless driver, dealing with opposing political views, or the poor officiating by a referee? God doesn’t just want us to be right; He wants us to love others to Him!
Theresa Rowe is the Fitness Director at Owensboro Christian Church, author of Shaped by Faith and a motivational wellness speaker. You can listen to her Radio show Shaped by Faith every Friday, Saturday & Sunday at 8:00 AM CT on 1490 WOMI at http://1490womi.com/listen-live/popup/
Visit her at www.shapedbyfaith.com, facebook, twitter account @TheresaLRowe or contact email@example.com.