Words of Worth

What Will You Keep?

May 6, 2011

Finally! It seems that spring has arrived here in the Northeast and for this Southern belle, not a moment too soon. A few weeks ago, my mother was visiting and she pointed out the vivid yellow of the forsythia bushes and said, “We call those February bushes back home.” I suppose they are “April bushes” in this part of the country. But spring coming brings with it the consequences of a bitter winter and for all my folks “back home” in Mississippi, the changing of the seasons has meant devastating weather with tornados and torrential flooding due to the heavy snows from the previous season in the Midwest. Thousands of Mississippians this very day are evacuating their homes because the floodwaters are rising to historic levels.

All week some of our dearest friends have been packing up all their belongings and heading to higher ground. Their temporary “homelessness” at this point doesn’t have an end date and there’s not an accurate estimation of their potential loss because the water levels in the Mississippi River have never risen this high.

Over the last few days, my friend has sent me pictures of some of the things she’s packing – her favorite coffee mug, a little bird votive holder I gave her years ago, photos – all heart treasures though their worldly value is probably negligible.

Because we live 1200 miles from each other, we begin our days with a “Good Morning” text. I don’t think we’ve missed a day since I moved to Pennsylvania five years ago. Yesterday morning, I jokingly said to her, “I hope you packed your devotional book and Bible…” I knew she had and we shared together via text (Praise the Lord for technology!) a few verses that helped her (and me) get through the day.

I didn’t have to ask if she packed her Bible. Most likely it was on the seat right next to her as she drove away from her home. Of all her earthly treasures, what she treasures most is not earthly at all.

As Jesus prepared to leave this earth, He spent His last hours instructing and praying for His disciples and in John 17:6, He makes a statement that I long for Him to someday say about me:

I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to me and they have kept Your Word.”

“…they have kept your word.” What a profound statement!

Isn’t this the very goal of our life? To keep His Word? Whether the sky is blue and the day is sun soaked or the storm clouds are gathering and we are facing the rising waters of fear and doubt, we must keep His Word. We must also trust that He keeps us. Isaiah 43:1-3 brings comfort:

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are MINE. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. For I am the Lord your God. The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

Everything on earth is just temporary and though my friend moved belongings that are precious to her, I know she will always say,

The Law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver piecesPsalm 119:72

Keep His Word.

Because words matter and God’s Word matters most.

Looking for more words? Read Matthew 6:19-21 What do you treasure the most?

(Photo courtesy of Debbie, from Eagle Lake, MS)

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