Pinterest A Grateful Life Lived: What Will You Collect in 2014?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What Will You Collect in 2014?


     When I was about eight, I remember proudly showing my mom and dad my room after a major cleaning spree.  To my surprise, their focus turned to the stash of wrappers on my bedside table.  My mom said something to the extent of, "you need to throw those away."  "No," I panicked, "I can't.  It's my used wrapper collection!"  Needless to say, that didn't go over well.
     There was a similar reaction to my used tissue collection that emerged a few months later.   So I followed that one up with my used Chapstick collection.  I realized I had so many of them, and dubbed it a collection. Here's the thing: I genuinely was collecting these things!  I thought that the useless stuff I had lying around would somehow gain value if I hoarded masses of them.  Not only was it unsanitary, but it wasn't exactly a profitable idea...for anyone.
     In regard to the Chapstick collection, I also didn't have any use of the items.  I thought of them off limits, so I had at least 20 Chapsticks that I didn't use for a five six years.  Somewhere, a little yellow box still contains the remnants of this long forgotten treasure of mine.
     So I got to thinking: how have I collected other gross, useless and junky stuff in my life.  Perhaps those collections aren't as obvious as a collection of snotty tissues.  But on the other hand, perhaps they are.
     How many of you have ever collected grudges, fear, anxiety or doubt?  What about collections of anger or bitterness?  I know I have.
     I too often store up memories of wrongs and things that have hurt me.  I add them to my collection of evidence, thinking that it's my place to do so.  Here's the deal: it's not!  What it truly is, is doubt that God is powerful enough and good enough to handle things on his own, without out input.  I don't know about you, but I can picture him watching me as I list off my grievances: "God I tried praying for her and then she said those hurtful things and was so rude to me.  Then, yesterday she..."  All the while, he is trying to whisper in my ear: "Yes, I understand that you are hurt.  I was there.  I am also using this situation to bring blessing to both parties.  Hold tight, I've got it."
     Usually, I don't get to that point because I'm too busy presenting my case to God to even hear what he's saying.  But when we take a deep breath and realize that it's not our responsibility to manage our own affairs, there is a sense of accompanying peace.  It starts with the proclamation: "I may feel like I was wronged, but God is in control and he will give justice and/or grace.  I choose to let him handle it and be free of that bitterness."
     Let me be the first to tell you, it's easier said than done.  But with most things in life, it gets a little easier with practice.  The more frequently we consciously choose forgiveness and freedom over bitterness and doubt, we advance further in spiritual training.
     Instead of gathering evidence and making collections of doubt that God is moving, or bitterness towards others, or even condemnation towards ourselves, we can choose to release the evidence and surrender to God.
     That's when we get the cool stuff.  We can start some pretty valuable collections, ones of love and joy and freedom and peace.  I want to be a young woman known for her collection of love, rather than a snotty collection of bitterness.  The more we collect, the more the collection gains value in our lives.  I want to be investing and collecting in something of eternal value.
     As we seek first his kingdom (Matthew 6:33), we can turn our focus from hoarding evidence of God's-- or our own-- incapabilities and just relax in his presence.
     I love Romans 8:1 that says "there is now, therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."  If you're like me and have collected a lot of bitterness, doubt and anger in 2013, there is hope!  We have no condemnation, only freedom to move forward and grow closer to Christ.  It's not about doing it ourselves, it's about releasing control and letting God's grace take over.
     I'm committing to a 2014 of value; I want my collections to be godly and profitable this year.  Maybe you're in the same boat.  Let's use this wake up call to start off the year with a bang and get rid of all those nasty tissues and trash that's collected this past year.  Happy New Year!


  1. This is so encouraging and nice to read :-)

    1. Thanks Emily :) The reason I have this blog is to show God's grace in my life and to encourage myself and others. It's so nice to know he is using me in this way!