"Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT)
It isn't fancy, that old chest. There is nothing elaborate about it and I doubt too many people would include it in their decor unless they had a penchant for older, handmade items. As long as I have been alive it has been a part of my life and I wasn't very old when I first asked if it could be mine.
My father built that delightful creation of cedar before I was ever born. In it were stored various items but the only one I really remember is the shoe box full of pictures from my Daddy's days in the army. I'm surprised they didn't become ragged due to the number of times I went through them. I loved to sneak off to the bedroom where it was kept, open the lid and take out that box. I would spend hours examining each photo, trying to imagine what he must have been like in those days. I had no idea who the other people were and had no real concept of them being taken in a foreign country. I just knew each one meant something to my father therefore they meant something to me.
Over the years, items were removed or placed into the cedar chest. Photo albums, trinkets, school pictures and report cards from my brother, sister and me. Daddy collected belt buckles for awhile and they dwelt in there too. But until the last few years of my parents' lives, the army pictures remained in the shoe box. One day my mother decided to mount them into albums and I was crushed. Never again could I lovingly take that box out of the chest and, one by one, hold each one in my hands. The box that had been around as long as I had was placed in the garbage and somehow the magic went with it.
The chest is in my home now and I will admit that I love it. Daddy made it, piece by piece, and I feel just a bit closer to him knowing that it is here. So many memories of hours spent exploring its contents. A tangible reminder of his life and mine. But, someday, I won't be here to watch over it any longer and I will have no say in what happens to it at that time. Honestly, that breaks my heart, thus the reason for today's verses.
The cedar chest, no matter how large a part it has played in my life, is just some pieces of wood that have been joined together. Made by a man out of earthly materials, it will not last eternally. Each moment I spend fussing over it is a moment that I should be spending in God's Word and learning about Him. Rather than looking back at times that will never come again, I need to be looking forward and upward and sharing what is eternal with as many people as I can.
We all have things we cling to - money, career, material items, hobbies. None of those things are bad in themselves, but we should never elevate them to a level that should be reserved for the great I Am. These things are here one day and gone the next and they can never compare to the treasures the Lord has for us in our eternal home.
Whatever we love the most is what sits on the throne of our hearts. That throne should have only one occupant. I think I have some repenting to do. God bless.