Tucked into the fold of countless trees, my boys, along with several of the neighbor kids, have created a fort at the end of our cul-de-sac. With walls of broken branches, discarded tin sheeting, and any additional scrap found from garages, it has become a place of refuge and ownership for them all. They even "marked" it with spray paint in order for others to know that it was claimed, owned, and for their use only. There is only one problem.....
They do not own it.
Not one plant.... not one tree.... not one patch of dirt that the fort is on.....
None of it is theirs to own.
This land does have an owner- one who is oblivious to the "squatters" on his property. Ha! Yet, my sons believe wholeheartedly that the small patch of privacy they have carved out of the wooded lot is theirs- theirs alone.
As I have thought about that this week, isn't that true of us? We look at "our" homes, cars, jobs, money, and property wave them about as flags of our earthly success. Yet, who truly provided for it all? When we begin to recognize that the Father is the source of all that we hold in our hands, it becomes easier to trust Him with it all. We can trust that He will provide when the need is greater than the resource. We can trust Him when He calls us to give our allotment to others trusting that it was never truly ours anyway. We can trust Him because we are merely the caretakers of His resources- it is all His, His alone.
This also frees us from chasing after significance in and through possessions because our significance is in Him. It also frees us from the "rat race" of get it all and have it all because He is the ultimate source of ALL that we truly need. We no longer have to live in fear of the "what-ifs" in life. Instead, we rest in the knowledge that He has overcome it all and through Him we have grace to overcome as well.
He is truly all that we need. Truly.
How about our kids? Am I stepping on toes now? Who gave you your children? The Father. Who knows every intimate detail about them- including the number of hairs on their head? The Father. Who loves them with a deep, abiding love - great enough to die for them? The Father and our living sacrificial lamb, Jesus Christ. Our children are His. We are merely their earthly caretakers. Have you entrusted them to Him? Do you parent them in a way that is honoring to the Father, their "owner"?
Unlike the owner of the woods, our Father is fully aware of the "claims" we stake in life. Often, He challenges our claims through trials and challenges so that we might finally recognize the source of all- Him. His longing is for you to see and know, deeply and intimately, that He alone is all you truly need. Truly.
1. Is there an area of your life that you have staked a "claim"? If so, what?
2. How does it feel to recognize that the Father is the resource to all that we need in life? Upsetting? Freeing?
3. What changes do you need to make as merely caretakers?