Stacks and Boxes and Life

 Photo by  Mpopp

Photo by Mpopp

We moved this summer. We moved before our house was completely ready, but we were graciously allowed to store all of our things in a room in the house that we now call home. We have a large front room where everything was stored. Stacked to the ceiling of this one room was almost everything that we own. Every time we brought another load in I saw the room and the stacks. All I could think was, “There it is, my life in boxes.” Then I caught myself and reminded myself and I knew the truth: that room is not my life. That room is stacks of stuff: furniture, clothes, books, shoes, pictures, dishes, etc. My husband and my kids are not stacked in a room. My faith and my heart aren’t stacked in a room. My life is not in boxes, my life is not my stuff.

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 neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
— Matthew 6:19-21

Am I putting too much focus on what I own? Do I just want more and more? Do I feel like my house has to look like a magazine all of the time? Am I worshipping the Giver or the gifts?

When I focus on material possessions, I am not focusing on the most important things. I am missing the memories of today. Of course I want our house to feel like a home but making it that way can’t be my only focus. In fact, more of my energy should be spent praying and reading and praying some more and caring for my husband and our children. By doing kingdom work on this earth, I am storing treasure in heaven. My marriage and my children are kingdom work. Sometimes I forget: I am raising a growing army of Jesus lovers and if I neglect these very fleeting moments with my husband and my children then I am missing it. 

My life is my faith in a very real Savior. My life is my marriage and my children. My life is my daily testimony to those around me. My life can’t be packed and stacked. My life is day-in and day-out living and breathing and loving and crying and laughing. 

Everything belongs to God. Nothing is a product of myself. Everything is a gift: my husband, children, family, jobs, cars, food, friends, church, everything. I can work and work to get more things, more stacks, more boxes, but it all comes from the Lord.  Because of His grace and mercy I have this life. It’s all from Him, the life giver. 

I control nothing: what I have, where I am. It’s all from him. It’s all part of my portion, my lot. It is thankfully nothing deserved because what is deserved is filthy. What is deserved is death. 

When I look at the souls and the faces, the passions and talents, the beauty and the mess that make my life, I realize and I know, this is all abundantly more than I deserve. Instead of focusing on what I wish I had or what I want to get, I focus on what the Lord has already so graciously given. Then I ask what the Lord would have me do with all of these gifts, the good gifts and the hard gifts. 

If we are believers in Christ then everything we have and all that we are is for His glory, stacks and boxes included. After all it is His to give. It is His to use. It is all His.