September 30, 2016

Matthew 21:1-3 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

Something struck me as I read this just now that I don’t recall being stressed very much. Not only do we have a donkey and colt going with strangers, (and the colt being ridden for the first time) we have the owner agreeing immediately to the use of what could well have been a major chunk of his material wealth. Often the real test of our faith and our priorities comes when the Lord indicates something dear to us and says, “I need that.” Letting go can be painful at times, but the result is always far better than trying to hang onto whatever it is. Sometimes that includes our own children. When Cathy and I were headed to Japan as missionaries, her father offered me five acres of land and help in building a house, (they lived on a large farm) and we turned him down. He seemed satisfied with that, and said, “Just checking.” He was releasing his daughter and two of his grandchildren to the Lord. Sometimes we balk at releasing much smaller things. Peter famously asked Jesus what the score was for himself and the rest of the 12, and Jesus’ response was magnificent. “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29) Any time God asks us to give anything up for Him, He always has far better for us in return. We may not be able to imagine what that might be at the moment, but it is true nonetheless.

For me, I think the biggest struggle may be time. I tend to think of time as mine, and be resentful when other things impinge on “my” time. The thing is, I’ve committed my life to Christ, and lives are measured in time, so what’s my gripe? I think I’m growing in this area, but I haven’t reached perfection yet! I need to hold everything loosely, not failing to use it as the Lord directs, but not getting possessive about it either. Frankly, I have hoarding tendencies, not liking to throw anything out because “I might have a use for it later.” I have little trouble giving things away to people who need them, but sometimes the Lord indicates that I just need to NOT have some item. That can be painful! I know, from years of experience, that the Lord is more than able to supply everything I need, and I need to trust Him more completely with that.

Father, thank You for this very timely reminder, as we have been going through things we have had stored for over 30 years. Help us have Your peace about each item, and especially about the things to which we have a sentimental attraction. Give us Your wisdom about the disposition of it all, so that we will be equipped as You intend and others will be blessed as well, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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