The Stuff in Our Lives
I saw a young girl sitting in the crowd just off the first base line at a baseball game. The right fielder was running after a foul ball and as he leaned over in an attempt to catch it he jostled her inadvertently. Concerned that she might be hurt, he apologized and said a few words to her. She nearly went apoplectic. She gripped her hands together, her face was all aglow and her lips said, “Oh, I must call my Mom.” I wondered at the time if she would have the same reaction had met Jesus?
Jesus was a real person that walked upon the earth and intermingled with others in his world. Even his enemies claim him to be the greatest and most influential man to have lived. But he is more than a man, he is the Son of God and he is empowered to save us from eternal separation because of his willingness to pay the wages for our sin, yet, so few of us care to know much about him. Some hunger to be like him, yet, when they look in the mirror each day they realize they’ve fallen short.
My daily desire to emulate Christ and become more and more like him is hindered by the weeds growing in my life. The fruit can’t fully mature when it must share nourishment with the weeds.
My wife and I lived in an apartment before we moved into our present home. When we closed on the house we packed up our stuff, in one afternoon, and moved in. Now, six years later, we are just overwhelmed at how much ‘stuff’ we have accumulated. It seems we have stuff stashed away in every crook and cranny. It would take days to pack and more than a truck and two men to move us now. There has to be a place for every item you save, you have to put it somewhere. If you save it, you have to store it or dust it.
I have discovered that it is often the stuff in my life that prevents me from drawing closer to God. When we pray that God will draw near to us it often doesn’t happen because we pray that prayer while our knuckles are turning white hanging on to all our stuff. Don’t we need to ask for the fire of God to come down and consume the stuff in our lives. Wouldn’t you like to see all the stuff removed so that you could say these words penned by C.A. Tindley:
Nothing between my soul and the Saviour,
So that His blessed face may be seen;
Nothing preventing the least of His favor,
Keep the way clear! Let nothing between.
If God will come and consume the stuff hidden in our closets that only we know about, if he would help us to overcome that besetting sin that continually torments us, if he would fill us with a deep hunger for more of himself and less of our stuff then we could see him so much clearer and know him so much better.
When we want Christ more than the others in our lives, when we hunger for him more than we hunger for the stuff in our lives, he responds to us as he did to Moses, “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.”