” “The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.” Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good?” – 1 Peter 3:12-13 NLT (http://bible.com/116/1pe.3.12-13.NLT)
It’s an introspective kind of day. As I sit and look at all of the memories surrounding me, I can’t help but wonder what difference it all makes in the grand scheme of things. I began a letter to the executor of my estate, to give her some perspective on it all… and it is turning into an epic. I have lots of stuff. Probably junk to others, but meaningful to me. (It kind of sounds like I’m a hoarder, but I’m really not!) It breaks my heart sometimes when I go to estate sales, looking at what was obviously important to someone, reduced to how much money someone else can get for it.
Doing the “right thing.” In God’s eyes, what is the right thing to do with all this? The selfish part of me wants to hold on to my stuff, my memories, and I want to know that it will all be treasured when I’m gone. My Grandma’s dinnerware, the drawings and paintings by family and friends, furniture hand-built expressly for me…. collections from my adventures and travels, quilts…. how important is it?
Well, in the grand scheme of things, even the most precious of my things is meaningless. What difference will they make to eternity? The short answer is: Nothing. Nada. Zilch. The saying “you can’t take it with you” is exactly right. I won’t be here to oversee the distribution. Most of all, when I’m gone, I want my executor and my heirs to understand that even though my house is filled with memories, these things are not my legacy. My prayer is that they see that above all of the things, my love for my Savior is my legacy to them.
I fail miserably at showing the Love of Christ to all men/women. I am human, imperfect and broken. Still, I want to do good. Today, my prayer is that God will show me clearly the right paths I need to be on for His Glory. His Kingdom. The question Peter ends with is profound. Who, indeed, wants to harm us? Again, there’s a short answer: Satan, the enemy, does everything he can to harm us and turn us off the path God has laid out for us. The more eager we are to do God’s will and to do good in this world, the more difficult the enemy will make it for us.
When someone dies, there is the potential for a tremendous amount of strife, as heirs fight over whatever is there. I’ve seen it in my parents’ families when my grandparents died, leaving bitterness between relatives, and in friends families. It is so important to remember that family relationships are so much more important than any amount of money or stuff! I have been fortunate to have been given things by my parents and grandparents, and although there were things I would have liked to have had from my grandparents estates, it’s not worth losing relationships over. Doing the right things when engulfed in grief is difficult, but I know God will honor that by offering peace to your heart. The enemy can’t hurt us if we remain firmly rooted in Christ. He may cause temporary anguish, but I know that God will prevail… and so does the enemy.
The question to ask in difficult situations is “what difference will it make in view of eternity?”
Thankfulness: what do I have, right now, to be thankful for?
Love: what do I have in my life right now: Friends, family… God?
Revenge against those who caused or are causing pain, emotional or physical: what will it change; what good will it do?
Grace and Peace: have I received it? It can come from people, but the real Grace comes from Christ Jesus!
“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” – Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT (http://bible.com/116/lam.3.22-23.NLT)
Believe it and receive it!