My wife recently survived a damaging heart attack. The ancient words of Psalm 90:10 became our present reality: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” In our mid-seventies and past our “threescore and ten”, decisions had to be made right away. As the understanding of our life position settled in, we were faced with selling our home and moving into smaller quarters in a senior living community.
My mother and I were in the antique business for years. Unsold inventories and collections of more than two thousand square feet remained when the shop was closed. In addition, our home was crowded with antiques. Many pieces had been handed down through our families and held great sentimental attachments. Fortunately, our daughter, an only child, wanted to keep many of the family pieces. Unfortunately, that didn’t make a dent in all our belongings.
Declining prices and a limited amount of time to dispose of everything we could not take with us presented many challenges. I had to try to determine how much all my ‘stuff’ was worth. The truth of the matter was ‘not much’ in relation to our health. I had to ask, “How much is a day of quality health care and a secure environment worth?” My answer: “Whatever it costs.”
I certainly would not have chosen the particular events that brought us to where we were. But, we were not overwhelmed and were able to make decisions we needed to make. A long time ago, we decided to make Proverbs 3:5-6 the foundation of our lives. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”. We had learned to trust the Lord’s plans for our future.
While we certainly enjoyed the things that have surrounded us and were thankful for the Lord’s provisions, we tried to remember that material possessions are just ‘stuff’. We have lived with this Biblical truth, “For it is clear that wise men die, and the foolish and the senseless both perish and leave their wealth to others” (Psalm 49:10). When we die, Scripture asks, “Now who will get what you’ve accumulated?” (Luke 12:20).
We have tried to follow the words of Jesus: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt.6:19,21).
May I ask, “How much are the things you have accumulated really worth?”
~ Brother Roy