Sunday, November 12, 2017


A middle-aged man is making his way homeward on foot after being gone for over twenty years. He wants to see his father before the old man passes on. With him are four women, twelve children and scores of animals.

When he left many years ago, he was running away as a thief. He had swindled his twin brother out of the entire inheritance. His twin schemed to kill him when their father died.

As the man journeyed toward home his thoughts turned toward his twin. Had his anger cooled? Did he still wish to kill him?

He sent scouts out ahead to find his brother. What he expected them to find, I don't know; but the scouts returned with word that his twin was coming to meet him and four hundred men were with him.

This brought great fear on the man so he sent a present ahead of himself that he hoped would appease his brother. Two hundred twenty goats went bleating down the road, followed by two hundred twenty baaing sheep. Sixty camels, fifty cows & bulls and thirty donkeys completed the present. 

He told his servants, who drove the animals, to give this message to his twin, "These are a present from your brother to my lord."

When they finally met, there seemed to be no animosity left and they hugged and kissed one another, all their emotions coming out in tears.

And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? 
And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he (Jacob) said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.
 And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.
And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.
Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it. (Taken from Genesis 33)
These words stood out to me as we read them. I have enough. Both men were satisfied with what they had.

Another story -from Little House on the Prairie. Pa and Ma, Mary, Laura and Baby Carrie are leaving a year's worth of labor behind them on the prairie because they realize they have built their little farmstead on land that belongs to the Indians (Native Americans).
As they load their belongings, they take only what will fit in their covered wagon. They had worked long and hard to build a log cabin and stable. They hand dug a well. Pa had skinned many animals, trading their furs for glass windows, a plow and seeds for a garden.
They must leave all that and the plow behind because they have no way to carry it. They leave the latch-string hanging out so some weary wanderer in need might find shelter.
Pa cheerfully says they shouldn't mourn the past year because they have all the time there is. They could work again in another place to live the life they needed to live.
As they are traveling over the prairie they see a covered wagon in the distance but it is not moving. When they arrive, there sitting on the tongue are a man and woman who look at their feet. 
When questioned why they sit in this manner, they reply that their horses were stolen in the night. Pa offers them a ride to town but no, they will foolishly stay with their wagon because everything they own is in it. 
The possibility of someone passing their way again is very slim. What good will all their possessions do if they don't live? Pa just can't fathom such stupidity.
As I contrasted the two stories within this story, I realized how much we women want to hang on to our possessions. Ma went with Pa and listened to his wisdom, though it was hard for her to give things up. 
Especially the nice cabin, stable, bed and table he had built. And the garden they had planted, that the rabbits (or someone other than themselves) would now enjoy.
The other woman was the one who answered the questions Pa asked about whether they would leave their wagon. She was adamant. "No." She didn't wait to hear the wisdom of her husband.

After reading these accounts I read Luke chapter 9. Jesus told his disciples to go out to minister, taking nothing with them but the clothes they wore. "Trust those to whom you are journeying to supply your needs," is in essence what he told them.
Later they found themselves in the desert country with thousands of hungry people, five loaves and two fishes. Again He says, "Trust me. We have enough." (My paraphrase.)
Are you finding enough today as you fulfill Jesus' call on your life? Or do your possessions hinder you? The more you own, the more you have to care for and worry about. There is freedom in releasing the things you own (because you really don't own them).
I tend to want to hang on to food, rather than being sharing with it (i.e. having visitors over). When you have a family that inhales food at a rapid rate, you begin to subconsciously question God's ability to keep that supply there. 
But I have found freedom in just offering what I have and trusting that we will have enough to eat. We have never gone hungry yet.
There is also freedom in letting go of possessions that have sentimental value. Possessions should not hold the place in our hearts that is meant for people. We have all the time in the world. And that isn't much. Fill it with service to people rather than possessions.
What possessions do you hang on to, at the expense of being of service to God and man?
Do your possessions crowd out people in your life?
Do you listen to the wisdom of the men who are in authority over you? (Assuming you are a woman as I am.)
I am awed by the sky scenes over the mountains

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