“And this is why we can’t have nice things”, I think to myself as all four of our dogs come racing across our carpet with muddy paws. Not to be outdone, our son is sitting in his highchair, doing his best to stain it and the outfit his grandmother bought him with beet puree. I go in search of a rag for the messes and am reminded of the haphazard state of the laundry room from when the shelves randomly came crashing down a few weeks ago. “And this is why we can’t have nice things.”
The last 36 months of my life have granted me many great blessings, but have also been filled with quite of bit of hardship and loss. Starting with the love of my (dog) life getting ran over and killed on July 4, 2015, and most recently ending with my parents getting a divorce and having to sell the home we literally built as a family. Might I mention that said dog is buried at that house under an old oak tree, and this basically sounds like a Miranda Lambert song, but you get the idea.
In the same voice my mind tells me, “This is why we can’t have nice things”, I’ve heard repeatedlym “This is why you should store up your treasures in Heaven and not on Earth.” Sure. Easy for you to say “God-like” voice in my head … and of course God does say in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
My heart is in earthly things: my family, our home, my job, our animals. Over time, the world has taken away each of those things; leaving me shattered, broken and at times wondering how I might carry on. Jesus came to tell us in John Chapter 16 that in this life we will have troubles, but to take heart because He has overcome the world. He tells us this so we will have peace. He also tells us this so we might consider making deposits of the heart into heavenly places rather than earthly places because everything on earth is temporary. Everything.
Before I became a mother, I was able to grasp this a little easier. I knew God intimately (I think), and felt like no matter what I went through here on Earth, I would be okay because He would sustain me through grief, loss and agony. He’s shown me so many times. Now that I am a mother, I cannot stand before God or anybody and pretend that I am able to fathom a place where the deposits I’ve made of my treasures in heaven will be greater than the loss of the treasure of my son.
Nonetheless, we move forward. On the hard days where fear is dripping from our teeth and pounding in our hearts because we are afraid of loss, or worse yet, we’re experiencing it, we have a choice of replacing fear with faith. Or at very least, introducing a little bit of faith into those terroristic thoughts.
We take one step out on the ledge in the face of our loss or our fear of loss and we ask God to be with us. We ask him to wrap his hands around our hearts and show us, “Now what?” when we haven’t quite got enough of our treasures saved up in Heaven to sustain the loss before us. Or so we think.
God is good to us though. I once had a strong man of faith tell me that when he is feeling leveled due to the loss of earthly treasures, he pictures himself curling up in the arms of his papa God like a little baby. God comforts us as His children.
God knows some of these things are beyond our comprehension. He loves us. He shows us how to be better and what to do next time. But most of all, when we are sobbing with broken hearts at the loss of our earthly treasures, God truly does scoop us up in His arms and hold us tight. He doesn’t shame us as I’ve imagined by telling us, “This is why you store up your treasures in Heaven,” but instead he holds us tight, kisses away our tears, and gives us the healing power of His heavenly promises to fill up our wounds.
Chelsea Rosty, a Grand Junction native, is a Univ. of Wyoming alum in Marketing and Economics (to say nothing of being on the university Rodeo Team). She is Director of Business Innovation for the City of Montrose. She serves on several local nonprofits and does CrossFit in addition to her duties as a wife and mother of one. She is active at Grace Community Church.