Still A Delivery Boy

     Ginger and I spent most of Monday hanging out together as on that day we celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary. As is the case on days like that we reminisced about a number of things, one of which was our decision for me to go back to school and study the Bible with the goal of perhaps preaching one day. And, as you know, we did that. It was an exciting and sometimes stressful time. Money was tight but we worked all the time and the Lord took mighty good care of us.

     As we drove through Madison on the way home talking I also thought of my first good job as a high school kid. I was a delivery boy for Lakeside Pharmacy in Richmond, Virginia. It was a great job! I drove a VW Bug and delivered about thirty packages an hour plus did all the things around the store that needed doing: sweeping, stocking bread and drinks and making sure the fountain ladies had what they needed. The pharmacy was owned by Alex Grossman, a superbly intelligent and powerful man who did not put up with any foolishness. He was a great boss and taught me most of what I know about working a job: Be early, stay as late as you need to and do what you are supposed to be doing! His key expression when you came in to work was “Are you here?!” He wanted his people to be ready to work.

     As we were talking about these things I was stunned by something that occurred to me: I am still a delivery boy! No, it is not medicine and sundries any more. It’s something infinitely more important: God’s Word.

     After all, isn’t that what we do when we preach and teach God’s Word? We are delivering truth to the minds of people who need it. Everybody needs God’s truth. He wants us all to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). Truth is the very thing that sets us apart from the world (John 17:17). Truth makes us free from the bondage of sin (John 8:32). The truth of the gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). Delivering the truth is what we are doing when we do mission work or reach out to a neighbor with the gospel of Christ (Matthew 28:18-20). Delivering God’s Word is a great work.

    I remember something else about that drug store delivery job. It was usually very busy but there was a certain routine and we did not often vary from it. The five or six hours I worked on my nights flew by. But every so often the pharmacist would get a call from a doctor telling us that a patient needed a medication right away. Folks did not go to the ER then, they went to their doc or he came to them. On those occasions we dropped everything else and took the medicine to the person’s home right then. We always felt a part of something good when we could get that done. I’m sure the healthcare folks reading this know what I’m talking about.

     Just so, there are times when people need a sort of emergency application of God’s Word. We see is sometimes when the invitation is given and someone responds in tears. We see it when we help a friend get a little closer to God with a kind word or a hug or even just a caring look. There are a lot of people around us everyday who are confused spiritually. What many of them need is a delivery of truth from God’s Word. Paul said (in Ephesians 4:15) that “speaking the truth in love” would help the process of Christian maturation. Souls get sick just like our bodies do. We use our good medicines to help our bodies. God’s truth is the only thing that can cure a sick soul.

     Another thing about this delivery boy analogy: When we made our deliveries back then it was the medicine that was important. The person doing the delivering was doing well but the effective element in the process was the medicine. Just so in preaching and teaching the important thing is the message and not the messenger (see 1 Corinthians 1:18-31). A preacher can become too impressed with himself and that will ruin his effectiveness. We are still delivery boys. We try to be the best delivery boys we can be but the medicine is the thing.

     The power is in the Word (Hebrews 4:12) not the man.