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 Vance Havner - God's post office

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God’s Post-Office
By Vance Havner

Our post-office is a dull and commonplace affair, viewed from without by the uninterested passer-by. One would hardly connect it with anything thrilling or romantic. Just a little wired cage, a few boxes, a desk and a table – can anything worth while come through that little window from such a plain and un-poetic corner of a country store?

Indeed there can be! Through that little window have come messages that have sent me fairly skipping down the road, gleeful as a farm-boy on his first spring fishing trip. It has relayed to me letters which have fairly changed the course of my career. And from that very ordinary post-office have come missives that have saddened my soul.

Really there are few places on earth more charged with human interest than a post-office. Have you ever thought how packed with joy and sorrow, despair and delight, one ugly mail-bag may be? Have you reflected how one day’s batch of letters may file out through that little window to prosper some and pauperize others, lead this man to marriage and that to murder, kill here and cure there? I’ve almost decided our little old post-office is the most romantic place of all!

But the post-office is not a source, it is only a medium. It does not create these potent messages; it only relays them from the creator to you. You and I are human post-offices. We are daily giving out messages of some sort to the world. They do not come from us, but through us; we do not create, we convey. And they come either from hell or from heaven.

Men study how to make their lives more interesting. Take a lesson from the post-office. It is interesting, not because of itself, but because of what it passes on to men. The world will make a beaten path to your door if you bring them news from heaven. What letters of truth and hope, to cheer and console? Or do you hand out dirty trash, worthless drivel, selfish commercial circulars, black-edged missives of misery?

Every Christian is a postmaster for God. His duty is to pass out good news from above. If the postmaster kept all the mail and refused to give it out, he would soon be in trouble. No wonder some Christians are so miserable: they keep God’s blessings within their own little lives, and soon there is congestion. God does not send us good things from the heavenly headquarters merely for our personal enjoyment. Some of them may be addressed to us, but most of them belong to our fellow-men, and we must pass them on.

He would be a poor postmaster who spent his time decorating the post-office and failed to distribute the mail. For people do not come there to see the post-office: they come for the mail. The Christian seriously misunderstands his work as God’s postmaster if he spend his time decorating his place of business and neglect to deliver God’s message through him to men. To be sure, a clean and tidy post-office is desirable, and so is a holy life: but it is easy for one to become so engrossed in introspection that he makes his goodness his business. Keeping our lives clean is only tidying up the office so we can carry on God’s business. When it becomes an end in itself, nothing passes out to men.

How thrilling the plainest life can be when it becomes a function in God’s great system and not a selfish enterprise! The tiniest post-office can bear a letter that may wreck or bless a nation. And the simplest life can relay blessing that may rock a continent toward God.

If you are a believer, you are God’s postmaster in the little nook where you live. Keep the office clean, but do not make that more important than delivering the messages. Men will soon learn to gather at the window and will bring you, in return, letters of their own to pass on to others.

 2005/5/19 17:59

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