The mailbox post was solid, a 4×4 made of treated wood.
But the shelf supporting the three mailboxes and providing newspaper slots seemed to be unstable.
While visiting our son and his family a few weeks ago, my husband decided to tackle this project to help him and his neighbors. He built a new support shelf, then tore off the old shelf and removed the mailboxes to transfer them to the new structure.
That’s when he discovered the carpenter ants. They came out from under the mailboxes and tried to run in all directions. As his helper for this project, I was tasked with the challenge of stomping out every ant to keep them from getting into the house.
The carpenter ants had eaten away much of the plywood construction that had supported the mailboxes. But even though the failure of the support shelf had been obvious, the cause was hidden. Most of the ants hid under the mailboxes and inside the wood. Had the wooden support not been replaced, it would have eventually failed completely, and the carrier would have not been able to deliver the mail.
So it is with the sins that destroy our lives.
[Jesus] said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:20-23, ESV)
The cause may not be evident, and often things on the surface appear fine. But underneath, or inside, something eats away at our core. It may start out as a small bit of jealousy, or gossip, or greed. But if we don’t seek God’s forgiveness and His help to combat it, it multiplies. Eventually, these “ants” can result in hollow lives.
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out. (Acts 3:19, ESV)