Lately, I’ve found myself engaged in several discussions with others about possessions we have to get rid of when we move.
These chats reminded me that when I was growing up, we moved many many times. I’ve even moved a few more times since I’ve been married but not nearly at the same rate.
We didn’t move every year; sometimes we moved more than once a year. By the time I was 19, I had 19 different addresses!
Moving is definitely one of those things that I dread, but also have come to expect. Several years ago, when my mother had to move out of her home in Arizona and move in with my sister in Texas, she had to purge most of her belongings. After all the moves she’s made, I’m sure that one wasn’t easy.
Thankfully, she had given me a glass bowl before she packed up for that move. It’s a very ordinary glass bowl. On the outside it is so plain that no one would think it has any special value.
My mother and sister, Marci, recently moved to a new place, and when my sister texted me to tell me it was moving day, I had a lot of things flood my memory.
Seemingly unrelated, I had made tacos for New Year’s Day with my in-laws. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have a recipe we used as children that my mom taught all of us how to make.
So, when I make tacos, it’s usually for a very special occasion. I served our tacos in a Lazy-Susan which came from my childhood. One of the specially designed pieces had broken but I’d found a set of pieces that matched the old set pretty closely, so it looked complete when I served the meal.
Again, memories flooded me when I used the simple set of ceramic pieces. I began to ponder this morning about these things we bring with us every time we move because they have some special meaning to our hearts even though they don’t have much intrinsic value.
The very plain glass berry bowl my mother had given me just happened to be one her great-grandmother had used when she picked and served fresh berries. I don’t have anything else in my life that has come that far down through the family.
I have my mother’s China that she got piece by piece from the grocery store in the seventies when I was in high school. I have 2 ceramic vases that belonged to my husband’s great-aunt and the Kneeling Lady hood ornament from the Rolls Royce my Dad purchased on the day my son was born. I have a lot of knick-knacks, but nothing so special as those few pieces.
My other sister, Denise, is going through a time of purging her possessions as well. She has been telling me of the difficulty of making decisions about keeping things that seem to have value only because they are sentimental.
Someone is helping her through the process and has told her, that ‘no one is going to want this stuff when you’re gone anyway so you may as well get rid of it now.’ I don’t know how much I agree with her in view of my special berry bowl that could easily have been thrown out many many times.
I’m facing having to purge my own house as we are in the very early stages of planning our own move this year. I know there are many things that have to go, but I guarantee you my great-great grandmother’s berry bowl, the ceramic vases, the Lazy-Susan and the hood ornament won’t be among them.
Their sentimental value far exceeds their apparent value. Of course you know, I tend to see things in symbols and metaphors. It’s not too difficult to recognize where I might be going with this analogy. But bear with me, because I think it will bless your heart today.
The berry bowl is absolutely unremarkable just to look at it. Very often, people tend to feel as if they are not very remarkable either, or that they don’t have a whole lot of impact on the world around them.
I’m sure that the simple glass bowl, when it was used, didn’t seem to have much value even to my great-great-grandmother. But my mother vividly remembers those berries. The fact that someone kept that bowl all these years reveals it’s true value.
God made us all with value that matters to Him. People might look at us on the outside and not really see our value. But God sees all of it. The Bible tells us that He has numbered the very hairs on our heads.
I don’t know about you but I brush my hair and a whole lot of them fall out. I don’t want to lose my hair, but I assure you I don’t worry about a couple of them falling out. And yet He counts them! I’m amazed.
You see, when something has sentimental value, you cannot put a price on it. Since we recently finished celebrating the birth of our Savior, it’s fresh in all of our minds that He came and submitted Himself to lowly flesh so He could purchase us for His kingdom.
If you ask Him, I promise you, He will tell you it was worth it. If you go through and look at what He suffered, it will make you almost sick inside. But He would tell you, you were worth it.
In this new year with all the changes coming and all the things that are being shaken, it’s very easy to get our eyes off of what’s important. It’s easy to forget our value in our Lord’s eyes.
We will focus on goals and new tasks or different ways of doing things with this new year in front of us. Your life might be turning upside down or you might be having changes like a major move, but I encourage you, in the process, to keep in mind the value God has placed on each one of us because we matter to Him so much.
Similar to what happens with with our possessions, we will go through life and make friends. Some we will keep, some we will have to let go. It can be very bitter-sweet, like an unripe berry amid the ripe ones.
I trust that you’ll be able to see how important it is to value a person because of their value in the eyes of our King. He took 9 months to make every single baby in this world and He tells us that we were precious to Him even before we were born.
Because of some of the changes that have been made on our political landscape, I have hope that this year and those coming ahead may bring an end to the horrible practice of abortion.
I know our society has a lot of problems with the issue on both sides, and I don’t want to get into any discussion about that today. But the way I see it, it’s all about value.
Many people have simple glass bowls, but not many have one which belonged to their great-great grandmother. To me, that’s value. It’s probably not worth twenty cents at a garage sale, but to me it’s something I will keep as long as I live and pass on to my own grandchild someday.
It’s really a matter of perspective. I encourage you today, to remember the value of each person you come in contact with. Remember that you may not see on the outside the value that God has placed on that person. But God does.
You may look yourself in the mirror and often times be discouraged at who you seem to be, but remember how God sees you; a highly valued possession worth more even than the life of His own Son.
Now that’s value. So, it doesn’t really matter where you live or how many times you have to move in this life, what you value is what you’ll keep. Things really mean very little in the grand scheme of things.
Even if the most valued things end up breaking or getting lost or left behind, our value never diminishes in our Lord’s eyes.
My prayer for you today is that you will evaluate yourself and others, not based on the outside qualities, talents or abilities, or the apparent lack of value, but instead on the value that God has assigned to us simply because He loves us.
So just the same way I treasure that very special berry bowl – to God, we are truly His most treasured possessions.
Always in Jesus,
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