About a week and a half ago, my wife and I took a trip out of state in order to watch our niece graduate from college. Once we got back home, my wife noticed that her car was damaged (no, that’s not our car in the photo). Of course, whoever hit our car didn’t bother to leave a note or contact one of the neighbors.
Due to the location, extent, and shape of the damage, I believe that it was either a garbage truck or delivery truck that hit our car. It was mangled pretty bad on the front, driver-side corner, leaving the headlight and signal light exposed and dangling.
Since it is an old car, we do not have collision coverage on it. If it was just a cosmetic issue, then we would just live with it, but the damage was enough for us to get a traffic ticket while driving (especially with the cops in this state 😡 ), so we had to get it fixed.
Instead of think about how ugly the car now is, or how much money it will take to fix it, my mind immediately focused on God. I have really been thinking lately about the fact that we as Christians should not worry about earthly treasures or possessions. Listen to what Jesus had to say about this topic:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ Matthew 6:19-21
I know not to place any value in my cars or other possessions (I’m working on the laptop, but I’m getting there ;-)), because they are just temporal and can easily be destroyed, stolen, or malfunction – they can also be replaced! I need to place value in the things which matter to God. If I lose some possession, that should not affect my mood or joy at all.
The things which hold my affection, and are valuable to me should be the heavenly treasures which the bible promises to believers. Along the same lines, there is another thought that has been in my heart lately, and it is expressed in Hebrews 11:13-16:
All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own.
And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.
My true home is in heaven, and as such, I know that I am not trying to establish an “empire” here. As Christians, our purpose is not to simply amass a ton of riches and possessions in this life, but we are to honor and glorify God in all that we do (1 Corinthians 10:31). That doesn’t mean that we can’t work hard or have wealth, but it does mean that we can’t make it our goal.
Since I am nothing more than an exile and sojourner on this earth, I am content as long as I have enough to sustain me, while I travel to my real home. If I have to drive around in a car that has a huge gash and plenty of dents, then I’m fine with that!
I think I will actually write more about this thought in an organized manner in the future, but I just wanted to get this out there, since this experience really made me reflect on this truth once again.
Oh, here’s the great thing about the car. We took it to our mechanic, and they managed to secure the lights and smooth out the tears and gashes enough so that we don’t cut ourselves when standing next to the car. When we called him to find out how much it would cost us, he let us know that he did it for free! That reinforces God’s promise found in Matthew 6: 25-33
For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!
Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
If we focus on God, and not spend so much time worrying how every small detail of our life is going to come together – especially when it regards the basic necessities of life – then God will provide those things for us. Of course, I don’t always expect to get services for free, but it is great to see things work out when we rely on God!
photo by betty x1138