Thursday, September 9, 2010

Consolation Prize?

I wrote this post 2 years ago, and little has changed in that time.  The house is still up for sale and in need of some repairs.  The car needs fixing every time we turn around.  There are cavities to be filled, new glasses to buy, and achy backs to treat.

In other words, there is nothing new under the sun*, and all our inventions, contraptions, and medicines do not provide the relief, help, and cure that we need.

By God's kind Providence, there is a season for all things, and He has made everything beautiful in its time.**  Though present circumstances don't always seem lovely, God has ordained all things for His glory and the advancement of His Kingdom.  Why should the Christian ever doubt or complain...?

The recent economic crisis has had me thinking a lot about money lately, much more than I like. It is difficult not to think and wonder, even worry, when those things which we have worked hard to build up are being torn down.

In the midst of real estate values crumbling, we have been trying to sell our house. It has been on the market for almost three years now (um, make that 5). We bought our current home just before the real estate bubble burst. Now, selling without a loss seems impossible.

We also recently learned that our house is in need of some repairs. We have an old home with some problems that did not show up on the pre-purchase inspection. As much as I hate to admit it, we are stuck with a lemon and have to remedy these problems before we can sell, only driving the cost of our home up further.

On top of all that, we have incurred several unexpected bills this month… car repairs, dental work, medical exams, etc. All together it adds up to almost $2500 in extra expenses.

I know I am not the only one facing these types of issues right now. We are all feeling the effects of a troubled economy. But, even more troubling for me is the lack of Godly leadership in America. I long to see our nation run by men who are not led by greed and motivated by political or personal gain but who are led by the Spirit and motivated by the Gospel.

I have spent a good portion of my quiet time this past week asking the Lord to forgive me for and to ease my worries. I often turn to Matt 6: 19-21, "Do not store treasures for yourselves here on earth. Moths and rust will destroy treasures here on earth. And thieves can break into your house and steal the things you have. So store your treasure in heaven. The treasures in heaven cannot be destroyed by moths or rust. And thieves cannot break in and steal that treasure. Your heart will be where your treasure is."

I have to admit that sometimes I treat my treasure in heaven as if it were a consolation prize. My thinking goes, "Oh well, I don't have much here on earth, but at least I have that treasure in heaven." How backwards my thinking can be. Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever, not to obtain the American dream. My motivations should be Kingdom-driven. I know that my Heavenly Father always cares for my needs and that whatever He chooses to bless me with on this earth is for His glory. My treasure in heaven is not an insurance policy but my reason for living.  Jesus is my treasure.

So recently I have been challenged. Challenged to pray for the Lord's will for our nation, for revival in the church, and for my faith to be increased.

Is it possible that my earthly treasures are diminishing in order for me to realize where my heart truly is? As I face loss or enjoy gain, can I truthfully say that I would give whatever I have away in order to take up my cross and follow Christ?

In accordance with Eph 1:18, "I pray that I will have greater understanding in my heart. That I will know the hope that God has chosen to give me. I pray that I will know that the blessings God has promised his holy people are rich and glorious." May I, instead of worrying, be the "jar of clay" spoken of in 2 Cor 4:7, holding the treasure of the Gospel in highest esteem.

*Ecc 1
** Ecc 3


Melissa Lester said...

How true your words are! I think all the recent events of our country, politically and economically, have us turning to Matthew 6. It is so comforting to know that God is in control and that heaven is our ultimate goal, not a consolation prize.

Christy@MercyEveryMorning said...


I can sooo identify with your housing problem! We too have an older home, with many things wrong that didn't show up on inspection. I don't even know how we'll afford to fix all that should be done to this house. We'd love to move...our neighborhood is going down...but won't make enough to do that if we sell right now, especially if we have to lay out a lot of money first to fix it up. God knows what we need, though. We prayed so hard before we bought this house that He would keep us from it if it were wrong for us, and guess what? He opened every door--they even had two other offers the same day as ours, but picked us. So there is a purpose here. Maybe it's so we'll learn how to lean on Him to provide, and not ourselves! :) The political and economical situations also show us that we're not able to trust in anything but Him. I love your point about the consolation prize...I've kind of thought that before, too, and it's so backwards! :)

Kimberly @ Raising Olives said...

What a good reminder Dawn, thank you.