I heard someone say that they had never let go of anything that did not have scratch marks all over it, and where they did not try to hold on to it!
I knew that applied to many things in my life.
For those who always had material things, perhaps it’s not so difficult to give them up.
However, I have my doubts about that. Being comfortable can be addictive. I guess it’s true that you cannot miss something you’ve never had, but it can be very tough giving up the desire for those things, even if you never get them.
I thought about the pioneers in this country who left one place on the way to another dream, another place where they might be happy.
To see and read stories of some of the things they held on to, and piled into their wagons, is almost amusing.
It always saddens to me to see the trail, where along the way, those things had to be discarded in order to complete the journey.
I think about Lot’s wife, how she must have hated to give up the things she had left behind.
We often criticize her, but many of us hold tightly to those things we cherish, turning our backs and letting them go, is not always easy.
I once heard a lady who taught on Sarah and how she may not have been so anxious to follow her husband off to some strange land.
The story of the rich young man who came to Jesus, always seemed to bring about a bit of smug reaction to a lot of us, because he didn’t want to give up all.
I often think that one reason we had no sympathy for that young man, is because many of us have never been wealthy. We couldn’t possibly know how he felt.
I recall a story about someone’s remarks concerning a woman whose old mobile home was destroyed by hurricane Katrina.
A man from better means was heard to remark, “Well, it really wasn’t a substantial home was it?”
Not by his ideas — but it was everything the lady had. It was her home and had been her home for many years.
It taught me a valuable lesson. When you lose everything, you lose everything. Whether it’s substantial or meager, all is all.
I have seen people of low esteem hang on to their little, insignificant possessions as if they were treasures of gold.
I’ve also seen those with priceless holdings, with lavish furnishings, willing to give their very life for them.
Our treasures are ours, whether they mean anything to others or not. Letting go of dreams and the past, takes great courage.
We often start out this journey with a willingness to forsake all to follow The LORD. To leave our comfort zone and step out by faith to what we hope and believe is God’s Will, takes a lot of intestinal fortitude.
Leaving houses, lands and family to work in foreign fields is a step most of us will never know of. Even starting a home-mission work is something most of us will never experience.
Starting your life over again when you have lost everything, is also one of the greatest challenges you can face.
Even if you know your own mistakes have caused you to end up with nothing, it’s hard to accept failure and recover. Many never do.
It can be even more heart-wrenching to lose all when it is no fault of your own. Things were stolen, taken or destroyed when you had done your best and didn’t really deserve it.
I won’t say why I’m writing this. Perhaps you might find yourself in one of these places.
Waiting on God, being as patient as you know how while things continue to slip through your fingers, things you treasure highly is not an easy task for any man or woman.
It can be hard to keep the faith and hold on to promises when it seems God just let another possession be taken from you because you dared to pray, “Your will be done.”
I say again that it seemed easy so many years ago to sing, “I’ll go where you want me to go dear LORD.”
If some of us had known then what we know now we would not have gone anywhere. He could have called someone else as far as we’re concerned.
We just thought we could give up everything, but it didn’t turn out to be as easy as we thought.
I remember years ago when we children were asked to fast like the adults. We weren’t able to go totally without food like the grownups, but we were asked what special things we might deny ourselves for a day or so.
One young man struggled hard to think and shyly said, “Kool-Aid and tatters.” It was his most favorite things of all and he was willing to give them up for a short time if that was what he had to do. It was a big sacrifice for him.
We often hear words said about our things like, “You can’t take it with you.” But we can sure try.
If we gain all of those treasures and lose our soul in the process, what have we really gained.
There is one promise that I have held on to for all these years. It’s about a mansion and a street of pure gold.
I’ve never forgotten that promise — “Eyes have not seen, neither have ears heard about the wonderful things He has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9.
One soldier said that if the only hope I have is in this life, I would truly be miserable.
I am reminded that no matter what we have, all of these things are only borrowed for a while.
I must hang on to the things that last forever. These possessions will soon wither and die away. If I can’t be happy, they really don’t amount to that much anyway.
First published: July 12, 2011.
~ Robert Blackburn