And it's perfect to start a week of considering the possessions I think of as mine.
This is my Father's world.
Every good and perfect gift comes from Him.
He is God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, infinite in wisdom, power, and love, whose mercy is over all His works, and whose will is ever directed to His children's good. (Thanks, liturgy dudes.)
I know this is true: I don't have to hang onto my stuff and be worried about it, because this is my Father's world. He's got me covered.
But this is easier said than done. I like this stuff that I think is mine. What if I can't find another one like it when I need it later? (This is the question I anticipate dealing with many times as I clean out stuff this week.)
So to remind myself that God's got it under control, here's what happened during Lent 2005.
We had moved to Dallas in 2003 after 10 years in the South Pacific. I was shredded emotionally and physically, and desperately needed a place to rest and recover. We found the perfect house for us, and settled down to nest. After a couple of years, we were OK to go again.
Well, I wasn't super-OK, but I was OK-ish. Willing to try again, anyway.
But Andy and I had a disagreement over our perfect house and what we should do. I wanted to keep it and rent it. He wanted to sell it. So Lent rolled around and we still had this disagreement.
We used to do this thing on Ash Wednesday (which is the beginning of Lent) where we'd write whatever we were giving up on an index card, and then go up front and nail it to the cross.
So, during the service, I was asking God what I should give up for Lent. Hoping the answer would be something like sugar.
Instead, the answer was: "The house. You need to give up the house."
So that was what I wrote on the card and nailed to the cross.
I was very sad.
I really liked my house. I figured I would need it later.
But Andy felt strongly that we should sell. And I felt like God was asking me to trust that He did love me and would take care of me.
I don't really think Andy and I talked about it much after that. But around Easter, he came to me and said that he felt we should keep the house instead of selling. And that is what we did.
In 2007, we found that we did need it again. We came back to Dallas and have lived here ever since. Five whole years in one place, as of this summer.
This is my Father's world. And His house, too.
Maybe He wants me to give things up. Maybe He wants me to keep and enjoy them.
But either way, let me ne'er forget: God is the ruler yet.