Last months' outbreak of F5 killer tornado's here in the South, particularly in Alabama, requires much long term cleanup in the aftermath. The site in homeowners yards was shocking and sad. Peoples files, papers,furniture, cars, pictures, and other memento's were either 'gone with the wind' to places unknown to be possibly found in yards 180 miles away in Knoxville, Tennessee or they were just a mess of wet, torn, destroyed paper ,crumpled metal, or smashed wood. Some things were salvageable,but not much.
It got me to thinking about 'our stuff' and how we place great importance on our things, our earthly possessions. All of us no doubt have a paper pile somewhere in our home. No doubt the most convenient is the kitchen counter top when you first come through the door. These tornado victims lost a good deal of what we think we can not live without to include these piles of important bills and files. No one has ever seen a U Haul truck behind a funeral procession have they? Once we are gone from this earth it does not really matter anyway. Someone else is left to bother with your stuff and your clutter and things and trinkets you could not live without. It can all burn up in a fire anyway. The things we place so much value on can be gone in a heartbeat.
Do you place your hope and security in the things of this world? The things of this world will not matter when our time on earth is over. I heard somewhere that when you are dying no one wants to say "Hey can you check the balance in my checking account?" Basically our 'stuff' does not matter in the big scheme of things.
1 Timothy 6:8 says "But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." I spoke with several homeowners who lost it all on April 27th and the common theme was that their things did not matter. They were thankful their lives were spared. Matthew 6:19-21 tells us "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Mark 8:35-36 says "For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?"The world and all its' stuff really can not keep you happy. 1 John 2:17 says "The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." There you have it!
Could you lose it all and still be happy? These tornado victims had destroyed homes, smashed cars, broken up furniture, torn clothes, water logged pictures, broken electronics, and much more. All these things ,with the exception of personal photos, can be replaced. But do they matter? Do not wait to have to lose it all to realize you do not need things to make you happy.
PRAYER: Thank you Lord for food, clothing, shelter and the gift of life. Help me never value things of this world so much that my very existence depends on things to be happy. Help my joy be in the Lord and not the things of this world. In Jesus Name. Amen!