Thursday, March 4, 2010

In this we greatly rejoice

"You . . . joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions." ~Hebrews 10:34

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust [and mould] destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust [and mould] do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." ~Matthew 6:19-20

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice!" ~1 Peter 1:3-6

I'm currently in the midst of packing for furlough, and deciding what to sell, what to put in storage, and what to take with me. It's really hard, and quite honestly it makes me feel a bit scattered to have boxes of possessions on both sides of the Pacific. During my orientation course when I arrived in PNG over two years ago people often told me, "Hold your possessions loosely." I think I'm discovering how important that is. What if my books mould in the damp climate while I'm gone? What if everything I have in storage gets stolen? There has recently been a lot of theft in Ukarumpa. A lot of people have had things stolen, sometimes even while they are at home asleep. I don't always feel entirely sure that I will wake up in the morning owning the same things I owned when I went to bed the night before. Just this afternoon my favourite sweatshirt was stolen off my clothesline. Frankly, this is a bit scary. I don't like it. I like my stuff and I would prefer to keep it. But it forces me to ask myself, "Do I really believe that I have an inheritance in heaven that can't perish, spoil, fade, mould, or get stolen?" If I do (and I do), then how can I not be willing to put my earthly possessions on the line in order to let more people hear about the inheritance waiting for them in heaven, that is "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine"? Don't get me wrong, I really really hope that I will still own my earthly laptop when I wake up tomorrow morning. But if I don't, is it too great a price to pay when Jesus paid with His life to bring me and the people of Papua New Guinea home to the New Earth where nothing will mould or get stolen?

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