The Gift in the Trash


““Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Mt. 6:19-21

It was just a little gift. In the grand scheme of things anyway. Most people wouldn’t have given it another thought. Or even a first thought. But for me, that little gift wasn’t so little. It was big in meaning. The kind of gift whose significance isn’t in its size, its monetary value, its appearance, or its value in other people’s eyes.

That gift was special because of the person who had given it to me, because of the significance of its design, and because of the love behind it. That’s why when I passed it along to a dear friend to give to another dear friend so it would stay “in the family” so to speak, only to discover my friend had thrown the gift in the trash rather than pass it along because she said she had forgotten my request for her to give it to my other friend, the tears came quickly.

But just as quickly as my eyes teared up, the tears never made it even one iota out of my eyes. I forgave my friend just as quickly as she apologized and exceedingly quickly moved on with my life. But how could that be? After all, I have a super long history of holding onto stuff and people harder and longer than imaginable.

I have had a harder time throughout my life of letting go of people, places, and things than imagination. But when I found out about the gift in the trash, I was reminded of just how much the Lord has changed me.

Though not always easy, and sometimes extraordinarily hard, and sometimes in fact easier than I can believe, I have learned and am learning day by day to let go. How? By God’s grace. By the Lord being my greatest treasure. By my spiritual blessings like love, peace, hope, joy, and mercy and comfort being greater than my physical blessings. By trusting God in all things and for all things more and more. By no longer holding on for dear life to people, places, and things, but by choosing moment by moment to hold on for dear life to the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have fewer possessions than I have ever had. Most of them I can fit in a medium sized vehicle with my five special needs ministry dogs. The more I have of the Lord and His Word, the more I focus on Him, the more I live to love and glorify Him, the more I breathe to love others and to help them to believe in and follow Him, the less I cling and cleave and clasp to the stuff of this world.

My sweet friend felt bad she had thrown the gift away. But unlike in the past when I might have lashed out, held a grudge, pushed her away, made her feel terrible, etc., I didn’t need to do any of that. Because I already had, and have, the greatest gift in the universe. The Lord Jesus Christ and a forever relationship with Him.

If you’re clinging to the stuff of this world, friend, it’s time to let go. Be thankful for the possessions the Lord gives you, but don’t cling to the stuff. Cling to Jesus. Forevermore! AMEN!

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