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Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth . . . but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matt 6:19-21 NKJ)
My mother passed away recently, and now my father is not too far behind her.
After a marriage of nearly 64 years, he patiently waits to be with her once more. As I will soon find myself being a “60-year-old orphan,” the situation arises of what to do with all of their stuff. Their belongings, their furniture, their things.
That table I remember from my childhood as being right next to that couch. The throw rug that’s spent the last several decades being continually tripped over but no one had wanted to move elsewhere because that’s where it belonged. And what about that dresser Mom had found when we were out shopping? She was so proud of it, so happy it was just what she was looking for. Where is that to end up? Back in some thrift store for another seeking person to find? Are strangers to touch and own that which once had held such a place in my life?
The memories I have of my parents and my life with them are not solely contained in man-made possessions. I know that. My mind is full of both my parents and so is my heart; they always will be. But the snapshot or two I happen upon or seeing the cabinet which once held my childhood toys are still sufficient to bring on the tears of remembering.
But at what point do we say enough?
Where is the line drawn between stuff that was once owned and treasured and those same memories in the heart? Do I keep this but not this? Do I keep any? Do I keep all? As I wrestle with these questions, it seems the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, is slowly untying the knots that have bound me to my parents all of these years. The love and confidence I have in the Lord and His sovereignty are slowly allowing some emotional distance to develop between what was and what is to be.
I know with the clearest certainty that my mom is in heaven with Jesus and my brother who passed away several years ago. And I also know, with the same certainty, that my dad will join them shortly around that heavenly throne. One of these days, months, years, I know that I will be there, also, and we will all be together again.
But in the meantime, there’s the stuff of this world, of my parents, to contend with. I shall perhaps keep a bit here and there but I need to let go of the majority of it. I know that. My parents are more than their possessions, and I know I will be able to eventually deal with it. However, I also know that my focus should not ever waver from the One who owns it all.
Lord, help us to keep our eyes on You, and not our possessions that we have here. We need to think on things above, things that will last forever, even as we shall, in Your holy presence. Amen.
M. J. Corrales is managing director of The Glory Foundation, a philanthropic organization funded totally by business and private donations. Ms. Corrales has been writing for many years with a concentration in biblical studies and devotionals. She can be contacted through her website www.TheGloryFoundation.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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