Thoughtful Thursday: Possessive Possessions

LoveSelfishness

Inspirational thought of the day:

All that we think we own we cannot keep and it is not ours, after all.

Scripture:

Job 1:21

He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will return there. The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away. May the name of the LORD be blessed!”

Ah.  The American Dream.  Much that is included in this utopic hope is good.  Freedom.  Peace.  Happiness.  But part of the American Dream is tied up in materialistic goals.

Somehow happiness becomes equated with owning things.  Lots of them. Or they own us.  A home that is much larger than necessary, nice things, a perfect family, involvement in a zillion things.

I confess, I bought it, too.  Still do.  But God continues to lovingly pry my fingers open to release it all to Him.

There is a comfort in owning things and having things settled, without fear of losing them.  Yet the human condition is that there is nothing certain in this life.  How does one function in an insecure world void of anything lasting?  Our future hope.

As devastating as it is when we lose something we cherished, or worse yet, a loved one passes away who is irreplaceable, there is an inner joy kindling with the inexpressible joy that we will have in Heaven when we no longer long for anything or anyone and have no fear that we will ever lose what God gives us.

Eternity is in the hearts of all men.  A desperate want for something more than what surrounds us.  We pacify this want with what we own or our earned place in this world, but that is only temporary.  Why would God create such a condition for man to live in?

Because we were not made just for this world.  We were made for eternity with Him.  We are passing through down here and it is so very hard for us to remember when things are given and stripped away that we have something far greater, beyond comprehension that Christ has already given to us.

What we are given is not for us, after all, but for His glory.

We are in the waiting room right now, waiting for our complete blessing in Him in Heaven.  While we wait, we temporary hold onto what God has placed in our lives with open hands, palm up – worshiping Him when He gives and when He takes, for He allows it all for our good and His glory.

Lord, help us to be filled with gratitude for everything You allow into our lives, even when things don’t make sense.  Give us Your eternal perspective and help us to glorify You in it all.

Thoughtful Thursday: Borrowed Possessions

Quotation-Ian-Mcewan-possessions

Job 42:10-11

10 “So the LORD restored what Job had lost after he prayed for his friends, and the LORD doubled all that had belonged to Job.  11 So they came to him, all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they dined with him in his house. They comforted him and consoled him for all the trouble the LORD had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.” 

1 Timothy 6:7

“For we have brought nothing into this world and so we cannot take a single thing out either.”

Matthew 6:19-20

“Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.”

Any parent knows two of the first words a young child will utter when something they own is taken from them – “It’s mine”! This emotion is not just for children.  Whether it is anger over a blessing being removed or a feeling of being violated when someone steals from us, we cherish what we own and do not want to lose it.

We come into this world with nothing but the precious life God gave to us, and then in time are bestowed with many gifts and belongings.  But what we own is really not ours.  If our security is bound to what we own, that is a shaky foundation.

It might seem cruel to give and then ultimately take away because our life becomes defined by what we own.  But if our life is hidden in Christ, then we become temporary stewards of His riches.  Every child given is His.  Every material item is His. Our very life is His.  How am I spending or taking care of His possessions?

It is a humbling thing to not own really anything.  This world ascribes worth and value to people based on their position and what they own, but God places worth on the soul that is not entranced by anything this world offers.

Even though we seek to live our lives in Christ free from concern about possessions, loss can be devastating and tragic.  I know what it is like to lose a home and family.   I also know what it is to lean hard on God in those times and be restored.   We will hurt when loved ones are removed from our lives, but in Christ that loss is temporary.  Just as Jesus wept when Lazarus died, so God knows our hurt and longs to comfort us.  He also will use each loss as a blessing to us ultimately.

Our belongings are not merely material.  If our identity is bound to the status we think we own, we become disillusioned and bitter when our life as we knew it is altered severely due to loss.  Walking in the freedom of being a steward does not mean we do not care for what God has given.  It means those things do not own us.  It means letting go of thinking I deserve or have a right to anything.  We do not have to be a pack rat holding onto everything around us for security – our eternity in Christ is already secure.

Lord, thank You for giving us Yourself – the greatest gift.  Thank You for what You allow us to steward, even if it is only for a short time.  Help us to cherish You above all else and trust You in this uncertain world.