This was probably on of my favorite chapters....I loved it...I hated it. You see, this particular topic is something God has been doing some corrective love in my heart about for a few years. Years! (I am comforted at times that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years)
To be totally honest, in our past, my husband and I were really too busy and mostly too lazy to keep up with our stuff the way we should have. We were both working two jobs, we never saw each other and we didn't enjoy much of life. So, what does this have to do with possessions? Our home became last place. We didn't put much effort, time or care into it. Then God started to do stuff.
God did some big stuff. He showed up in ways that are undeniable. The result: we had to really grow up. We made some tough decisions. We had to pack up all our stuff in about 24 hours. It was at this point we were faced with what we had been doing (or...ahem..not doing) in our home. I was overwhelmed with the volume of things that we had collected and the layer of dust and cat hair that had settled upon it. God worked in us and showed us as we sorted and cleaned. We recognized that our lifestyle was keeping us from living out our calling. We saw that by not taking care of what we had we couldn't open our home to others or be available to to be used by Him in the ways we knew he had called us.
So as quickly as we could we purged and sorted. We donated, pitched and gifted. We moved across the country and God gave us an amazing gift. We restarted. His mercies are new and we had a chance to do things differently.
As I've mentioned before, we are on our way to adoption. A new opportunity from God to clear out the unnecessary to make way for His blessing. We have dug deeper through the boxes that remained unpacked for a few years. All the boxes are gone! The stuff that was in the way of people is mostly gone...(we are still in debate over a box or two of VHS tapes...I mean really, we don't even OWN a VCR!!).
This chapter about possessions tied in deeply with much of what happens in chapter 7 Stress. We were too busy to enjoy/take care of what we had. We were too busy because we had to be in order to keep the stuff we had. Crazy, right??
We have been blessed beyond measure since our heart change. We have been able to live out our dream of having people in our home to meet to live out Jesus. We can have college kids come do their laundry with out quarters....and a maybe a meal that doesn't involve ramen.
This heart change has flamed great conversations about how we would like to train up our child(ren) in regard to possessions.
The pain we inflected on ourselves because of our disobedience, our mistrust, our hard-hearted-ness.
God's transforming work...it has been more than worth it.
Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for new mercies and second chances!!