Through all preparation to move to Walla Walla, the Lord has graciously been reminding me of an often overlooked, but invaluable aspect of the gospel – the hope of an infinitely better someday. I at times find myself sighing and thinking, “I certainly didn’t expect to be in this situation at 41 years old.” I expected a bit more…hmmm…what’s the word? Ah…Stability! Then I realized how frail such a hope is. It’s got no anchor, no reason to be unshakable. So here are a few thoughts (free of charge, of course, but donations are welcome) about what to hold to while letting go.
1) It’s just stuff. Stuff is valuable to us because of what we connect or associate with it. Each and every item we have has memories and relationship value connected to it making our things incredibly valuable. However, when we allow our stuff to be the sign of our worth and personal value, they become impossible to let go. But when you have to let the stuff go, you don’t have to let go of the memories, and that’s good news. And if you feel like you’re lost and worthless without your stuff – it’s no longer valuable, but destructive.
2) It’s thank-worthy. I just made up that word. Christianity is not about self-abasement and denying all things material. Nor is it about hedonistic indulgence in material things in the quest for self-worth. Giving thanks to Jesus for our stuff is assumes He is the Giver and so safeguards us from a false sense of ownership. Giving thanks also assumes we are undeserving and therefore recipients of grace instead of feeling entitled. Giving thanks frees us to enjoy all He gives as worship.
3) It will all be surpassed. Jesus is the gracious giver of all good things – even our stuff. Not so that we wallow in his gifts, but that we have assurance that what is temporary and good will be surpassed by what is eternal and better. Colossians 2 says that all the good things we are given (food, drink, parties, friends, etc.) are shadows and the substance is Jesus. As we hold onto this hope, we are able to let go of our stuff without fear, knowing that Jesus never leaves us wanting when what we most want is Him.