All My Stuff

Last Friday, I said that God had been all up in my business. Strange phrasing, perhaps, but it’s the only way I know to say it.

A few years ago, He told me clearly: “You have a lot of stuff, sweet daughter, and you are not honoring me with it.”

And I said, “But, God, we don’t have that much money. My husband is a firefighter, and I just walked away from a career. We’re not the rich people.”

“I think you should reconsider that.”

So I did. And it’s been saddening and freeing. And it has touched every part of my life with faith to Jesus.

Listen, friends, if you’re reading this then you have access to a computer and the internet. You probably live somewhere with a floor and a roof. I’m willing to guess you’re wearing something on your body. I’d say you’re going to get a meal or two fairly easily today. And that’s just not the case for billions of people on this earth. Billions of real, live people with bodies, hearts, and spirits. Billions of people with families.

The other night, as God was bringing all this back to the forefront of my heart, I was rocking my four month old and adoring her fat cheeks. Then it struck me. Some mama is literally watching her baby die at this moment from something preventable. Some missionary or humanitarian worker is rocking a sick orphan who will not recover. Little ones who could have been saved by a simple over the counter medicine or just clean water will die.

And I look around at all my stuff: the nice car, the teetering stack of pretty dishes, the forgotten vegetables in the refrigerator drawer, my daughter’s overflowing closet. And it makes me uncomfortable.

All this comfort has become sickly uncomfortable. I’m squirming. I want to do something impulsively extreme, and I want to hang on. I want to sacrifice, but I’m scared. Mostly, I want to focus my heart on things eternal. Because all this stuff….it’s all vanity.

I know this current is running through the church right now; I hear it from other brothers and sisters, and I hear it from the pulpits of some men God has given growing influence.

Yet…I can’t shake this sick feeling that we’re still stuck. Stuck in this materialism and consumerism that is accepted, respected, and expected in our society. When did we confuse a solid work ethic with worldly ambition? When did prying the hands of our greedy hearts off of our possessions and money come to mean that we were settling for going through life “worthless”? This is the message I’ve received from some well-meaning Christians. And I get it. I was raised up in this culture, too, and I spent years of my Christian life blind to its insidious poison that has seeped into our church. But my spirit is completely busted up over my own sin.

Lord, please keep me broken. Let’s wrestle over the $4 lattes and the twenty pairs of jeans until my stuff is pleasing to you, until I can honor you with all this crazy excess. Give me your ambitions, let me strive for your success, help me be about Your glory and not my own.

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2 thoughts on “All My Stuff

  1. Yes!! You are so RIGHT!! When my husband quit his job & started his own company we thought God was going to continue to bless us financially. Nope…God started to refine & purge us. God DID bless us in other ways, but we were completely hit financially. It was HARD, but sooo needed! We are sooo much better for it & like you really struggle we know struggle when making a purchase. I went through ALL our closets realizing we don’t need sooo many clothes when others have so little. Our priorities have changed so much. Now that God has blessed Jeff with a job back in the corporate world we have agreed that if God chooses to bless us more, then we want to takte that more & bless others. It’s not about helping ourselves, but helping others 🙂 GREAT post!!!

  2. Thanks for the support, Kim! It’s an encouragement to hear others’ stories about the same issue. I think you pointed out one of the keys God is trying to teach us: It’s about helping others when God sees fit to bless us. We need to be willing to pass that on rather than helping ourselves to more.

    I’m always encouraged by your comments! Thank you!

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