It was 4:30 A.M., April 22, 2017. My mother’s nurse touched me on my leg while I was grabbing a short nap on the sofa down the hall from where my mother lay at the point of death.
I sat up quickly at the feel of the nurse’s soft gentle touch and said, “She is gone, isn’t she?” “Yes,” the nurse nodded.
As the dawn of day lurched forward with a beautiful array of sunshine despite death all around me, funeral arrangements had to be made, friends and relatives had to be called, followed by the funeral in a couple of days.
Then came the first phase of sorting out her household items - which ones to keep, which ones to give to relatives, which ones to donate before we left Georgia and traveled back to our home in Texas.
Two and half weeks after arriving back home, we received yet another phone call – my husband’s sister had passed away in the same small town. And so it was, we rushed back to Georgia for the same process to take place all over again.
It was then I felt like screaming, “Stop this train! I want off! Two deaths in two and half weeks; this is too much to handle! When are we supposed to have the time to grieve the loss of our loved ones?”
But, it was back to business again where the second phase of a more in-depth sorting of, shall we say “our loved ones treasurers” began to take place that we had hauled back on a U-haul truck to our home in Texas.
As the sorting got underway, we discovered that both my mother and sister-in-law had their much prized possessions locked securely in their antique cedar chests. It had been fairly easy to decide what to give away, what to donate, and yes, what to throw away from the majority of their things, but their private cedar chest told the story of the treasures that meant the most to them.
· Gramdma and Grandpa’s Bibles that had withstood the test of time by being held together with strong cords wrapped around them.
· Their own personal Bibles that had been marked and underlined on almost every page.
· Bible study courses they had studied over the years
· Personal diaries of stories they had written from past generations as “family history” for the next generation.
· Pictures drawn by their grandchildren and great grandchildren
· Letters from family
· Picture albums upon picture albums (no pictures on computers for these ladies, 91 and 93 years young)
· Hand crafted afghans, quilts and beautiful works of embroidery
· Special jewelry with a note attached designating it for certain family members
I could go on and on listing things, but by now you are probably getting the picture of what were their most treasured possessions - God and Family.
As my husband and I carefully observed each item that had been locked away some 50-70 years, we realized that these items were, indeed “keepers.” And all the while, we had no idea these treasures were inside of their antique, locked cedar chests.
I began to see a parallel of how God sees us and how we sometimes see ourselves.
For you are a holy people, who belong to the LORD your God. Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure. (Deuteronomy 7:6 NLT)
God’s special treasure? Oh yes! He treasures us so much that He has placed within us special gifts and talents. He has also placed within us a God-given dream that He wants us to fulfill. We are His own workmanship, if you please. A special treasure we are, indeed!
And yet, we sometimes don’t see ourselves as God sees us and have a tendency to lock these gifts and talents away and not use them. We have a fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, feelings of inadequacy. Fear, fear, fear!
As a result of these fears, the dreams dies, and no one receives the benefits of the gifts and talents God has placed within us.
I believe this grieves the heart of God.
And so, I encourage you today: “Grab hold of the concept that We Are God’s Special Treasure. Don’t lock the gifts and talents God has given you in the cedar chest of your heart. Use them to honor Him.
SUMMER SHAKE UP SERIES
GATHER HER || 08.10.17
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