Reflections... Vermin, Theft, and Fire!
Pictures. Home movies. Our wedding albums. A few small sentimental items. That was basically it when we were told to prepare for evacuation due to a nearby wildfire. Chris and I had only been married for two months when a raging fire in the foothills above our house in Sierra Madre, California threatened the whole area. As we walked through the house trying to decide what to take, we realized that almost everything we owned was easily replaceable. It was just stuff. We took that which was irreplaceable and waited for the call to leave.
That call never came – for us. The fire break held, the wind shifted, and the people in nearby Altadena got the call to evacuate. It was a very good thing that they left. Weeks later I drove through neighborhoods in which house after house had been reduced to ash upon a concrete foundation. In all, 121 structures were destroyed and 40 more were damaged. No lives were lost, but lives were changed. My prayers go out to all those in Colorado who are similarly preparing to evacuate or have already left.
It was just stuff. Although stuff matters (it has real value personally and monetarily), the issue is one of perspective and priority:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Mt. 6:19-21).
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).
The truth of such verses really hit home (literally) when we had to walk through our Sierra Madre house, look at all of our wedding gifts, and decide what stuff was of top priority. We quickly realized that in the context of faith, loved ones, and safety, treasures on earth just aren’t that valuable.
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