Packing Up

July 30, 1999
by Michael Steckel

Matthew 6:19-21 – Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NIV)

It has been just about two years since my wife and I moved from Virginia to Alaska. When we moved, we had to pay for it ourselves. We could only afford two small trailers that we towed to Alaska. Because of the limited room we had for packing, we had to get rid of a lot of things. Once we got to Alaska, we had to put what we brought with us in storage until we found a place to live. That took just about a year. When we moved into our new home, we went and got our things out of storage. As we were unpacking, I was wondering why we kept these things in the first place. They had been locked in a room for a year and we did not miss them or need them. We ended up getting rid of a lot more when we unpacked. Like many people, we kept the simple things that have a great meaning to us, such as pictures.

In today's verses, Jesus tells us not to store up treasures for ourselves on earth. After we moved, I felt that I had been doing exactly what Jesus forbids. I had so much stuff that I really didn't need. I have not missed any of it since getting rid of it. Yet at the time, it seemed to be so valuable to me. Jesus does tell us to store up treasures for ourselves in heaven. I have found my life so much more blessed and enriched since I have done this. For me, this is done through acts of obedience to God. Since moving, I have been so much more involved in the church. I have had opportunities to teach and lead worship services. I have found that I feel so much more complete — and just plain happy — by doing God's will, instead of filling my life with material things.

Prayer: Lord, we have not always looked to you first. We have filled our lives with things that we thought would make us complete. But it is your love that fills the void within. We want you in our lives. You are our everything. In Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Michael Steckel
Fairbanks, Alaska, USA

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