Sunday, May 16, 2010

When possession isn't 9/10 of the law

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power; and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
1 Chronicles 29:11 (NIV)

It's spring, which means it's time to wash windows. As I sat on the ledge, gripping the frame of a first floor window with one hand and washing an outside pane with the other, I thought about the gyrations and machinations my husband and I went through to buy this house.

Beginning with loan pre-approval, the process quickly moved to determining the needs and wants we had of a house and finding a real estate agent we believed we could trust. We spent hours attending open houses and private showings, not to mention negotiating a fair and equitable contract. The final deal involved real estate agents, title companies, lending agents and attorneys. Out-of-pocket costs included title insurance and homeowner's insurance; as well as fees for radon testing and well, septic, termite, and general and structural inspections. What an exhilarating, exhausting process. The ironic thing is that when our agent handed us the keys to the house and congratulated us as "new homeowners," we don't own it! The bank does.

Chapter 29 of the Old Testament book of First Chronicles records the collection of gifts for building the temple in Jerusalem. After donating his personal fortune to the construction project, David appeals to the people for their voluntary gifts. He is deeply moved by their joyful response. Interestingly, however, David thanks God and not the people that such giving is possible from people who apart from God's goodness have nothing.

Standing before the Israelite people, David praises God's power and proclaims His ownership over all creation. He adores God and ascribes glory to Him as the God of Israel, blessed forever and ever. With thankfulness David acknowledges that everything comes from God, including the grace of God that enables the people to contribute so cheerfully towards the building of the temple.

David speaks humbly of himself, and his people, and the offerings they presented to God. He appeals to God about his own sincerity in what he did. Finally, David prays to God for both the people and his son Solomon that both might hold on just as they began.

Through the gifts of His people, God provided the resources necessary for building the temple, the symbol of His presence among His people. Though these resources were in the possession of the people, in David's eyes they had never ceased to be the full property of the Creator Himself.

Rev. Dennis J. DeHaan wrote, "We as Christians must recognize that God is the rightful owner of our possessions, or they will be a cause of frustration. Our attitude will be reflected in what happens to them. A dent in the fender of our new car, for instance, can bend us out of shape. A coffee spill on the furniture can stain our attitude. A theft can easily rob us of peace."

When we transfer ownership of our goods to God in our hearts, only then can we learn to use things wisely, hold them lightly, and enjoy them fully.

Blessings, dear friend.
Faithfully Following

P.S. If you happen to be in the area, grab a bucket and stop on in. There are more windows to wash. ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment