The recent flooding of our home meant that we had to get rid of quite a bit of furniture.
Take a minute and think about your home. Do you have things like we have (or had)?
– “Found” items that you restored
– “Given” treasures from family and friends
– “First” purchases bought together to create your first home
– “Impulse” pieces that you really should have left where you first saw them
– “Priceless” things that aren’t worth much except to you
Friends were coming to our house to help us remove furniture destroyed by water. I was prepared for their arrival. I had already made peace with the loss of “stuff.” As I used duct tape to mark items with a large “X”, to let our friends know that those items were to go, I knew that the time had come to get rid of that which we had once treasured.
The trucks and trailers arrived and we started removing items. People were so kind as they took time to admire what used to be nice “stuff” and was now water logged and starting to mold.
At one point, I started rethinking what we were doing. It happened when a friend commented that a mirror was beautiful: perhaps I should save it or at least try to sell it. I hated losing that particular item and was tempted to try to save something that was beyond saving, but then I pulled myself together and told them to take it away. A few minutes, the same friend, concerned that I might be making a mistake, came again and asked if I didn’t want to save it. I was strong and said to take it all.
It can be hard to say goodbye even to silly things. The other day, as I was packing, I noticed a rock on a shelf. No one else in the world would know that I had picked up this particular rock from the walkway of a Nazi prison camp and that I had held onto it for nearly 30 years. It isn’t special; but, the trip when I picked up that stone was life changing. As I held that rock, I debated keeping it. But, then I was reminded. My life had been changed by God and my decision to obey Him. The rock was still just a rock.
The furniture that left our house that day was just “stuff.” Our lives, our loves, our futures are still in God’s hands. I can let the “stuff” of this world go.
As the trailers left to take the load to a temporary dump site, I stayed at the house to take on another task. John told me later, that as our dining room table top went into a dumpster he wanted to shout, “Don’t scratch it.” Funny – even though it was damaged beyond repair and even after we had decided to get rid of it, we were still protecting our “stuff.”
One more trailer load was required to finish the job. It was late in the afternoon and the temporary drop off site was closed; we had to take the last load to the dump. A friend offered to make the trip and we went with them to help unload. As we waited for our friend to finish the entry paperwork, John and I talked about the day – it was bittersweet. We were glad that the chore was nearly completed, but we hated that it had to be done. We laughed about how we were “over” getting rid of the “stuff.” It was then that we saw the large dump truck that was parked in front of our friend’s truck. From under the tarp covering the load, we could see two wood posts peaking out. We stared at those pieces of wood – they were the posts from our headboard. As we looked more closely at the truck, we could see the cushions from our sitting room sofa under the tarp near the front of the load. The temporary drop off location was unloading at the local dump right in front of us!!
After the long day of saying goodbye, we were forced to watch our items one more time. It was as someone was saying, “Oh, you thought you were done with this hurt…not so fast!”
Have you been there? You have worked hard to deal with an issue in your life? A bad habit that you conquered? A loss that you put behind you? A wound that has finally healed? A sorrow that is fading away?
And, then, someone or something puts that challenge back into your path.
Recognize that the victory you have fought for is still yours.
Be prepared to refight that battle.
Know that we have an enemy that will never stop putting roadblocks into our path.
Most of all, never forget that we have an Advocate, a Savior, a Friend. We don’t need a rock on a shelf to remind us to live and love as He has taught us.
Last, it really is only “stuff.”