Have you heard the story about Mr Jones, who dies and goes to heaven? When he arrives, St Peter is waiting at the Pearly Gates and takes Mr Jones on a tour of heaven. Mr Jones is awestruck. The streets are paved with gold, beautiful mansions glisten in the sunshine, choirs of angels sing the most beautiful songs.

Partway through his tour of heaven Mr Jones’ eye is drawn to an odd looking building, an enormous warehouse with no windows and just one door. What an odd structure for heaven! “You don’t really want to see what’s in there” says St Peter.

“But I do, I do” says Mr Jones. He races across the lawn and pushes open the door to discover rows and rows of shelves, floor to ceiling. Stacked on the shelves are thousands of white boxes. The boxes all have names on them.

“Is there one with my name on it?” asks Mr Jones as he rushes to the J aisle. He finds the box with his name on it and opens it up. His mouth drops, his pulse quickens, and finally he says to Peter, “What are all these wonderful things inside my box? Are they the good things in store for me now I’ve reached heaven?”.

“No” replies St Peter. “They’re all the blessings God wanted to give you while you were alive on earth, but which you never received.”

A sad look came over Mr Jones. He looked into the box, to St Peter and then back to the box. “Why?” he asked St Peter. “Why did I miss out on all these blessings?”

Well, that’s a long story…” replied St Peter.

 Story adapted from Bruce Wilkerson, The Prayer of Jabez