Two and a half months into the South African Postal Workers Strike, I wrote these words in my prayer journal : Grandpa and Nana’s Christmas Box – Kuskie Box (October 25, 2014).
Somewhere in a huge, overflowing pile of mail at one of the South Africa Post Office Receiving Centers sat two boxes sent to our family from the States. For months, no mail had been processed, sorted or delivered all across the nation.
Granted, this was not a life or death situation. It almost seemed self-serving to pray to God and ask that these boxes be delivered by Christmas time. However, the boxes represented far more than their physical contents. They symbolized the love, generosity, and touch from our family and our friends. You cannot put a monetary value on the joy that springs from our hearts when we open a box from home. There’s nothing quite like that feeling!
In all honesty, we don’t have tons of gifts at Christmas. John and I decided even before the kids were born that we didn’t want present-time to overshadow the significance of celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our kids do receive gifts on Christmas morning, and they really enjoy that fun, open-presents-Christmas-morning experience. However, we have attempted over the years to keep things simple and center our worship upon Emmanuel this time of year.
Yet, I admit, I hoped that the boxes would come in time for Christmas morning for our boys.
So, back in October, when the ongoing South Africa postal strike delayed the boxes, (one box had been mailed in August) I truly doubted that the boxes would arrive in time based on the dead-locked strike situation. It was then I decided to take this request to the Lord and ask for His help.
Would my God care about the delivery of two boxes in time for Christmas? I decided to believe that He would.
Then November followed.
Finally, there was word that the postal strike was coming to an end. And when it ceased in early December, John and I wondered…
Were the boxes still in tact?
Would everything still be there?
Would the boxes be delivered in time for Christmas?
I continued to pray.
James wrote this: Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. New International Version, James 1:3
Now, I’m confident that James was not writing about our waiting for a Christmas box delivery when he penned these words about perseverance.
Yet, I took hold of these exhortative words nonetheless, as I prayed and prayed and prayed for the delivery of these two boxes day after day and week after week. I believed that the Lord wanted me to persevere in prayer – even in this relatively small, inconsequential matter.
Then, on December 11th, John decided to drop by our post office to see if these boxes may have been delivered there. To his surprise and delight, there they were – waiting!
Each box was in tact.
Each box was taped up and all of their contents secure.
Each box had arrived in time for Christmas. In fact, they were early!
As I indicated earlier, this may not be the most significant faith story I have ever shared in my life, but I consider it to be important nonetheless. It was important enough to me to seek God’s assistance and involvement because I really had no where else to turn. Thousands and thousands of letters, cards, bills, and boxes had accumulated in post office delivery stations over the course of four and a half months and somewhere in one of those massive piles were two boxes addressed to our family. Only our God could advocate for us and send the boxes to us in time for Christmas.
We all have people and matters of the heart that we pray for every single day.
We may sometimes wonder, “Should I even be praying about this?”
Or we may doubt that our needs matter all that much in comparison to the grave concerns of others.
Or we may feel that since our request is beyond our reach, perhaps it is really too much to ask for in the first place.
This is exactly when we need to remember the words of James: Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Perseverance with God is a faith-establishing work.
What are you praying for, my friend?
Please do not lose heart. If my God cares about a couple of boxes and their delivery to our family in time for Christmas, I am confident He cares for the concerns of your heart as well! Persevere! And may your faith be established and made strong in your perseverance and wait all to the glory and honor of our Lord!