Death unto Glory Part II: It’s Value… Worthless!
“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.” Matthew 6:19-21 NIV
Continuing onward with the thoughts of how deeply my mother-in-law’s recent death has impacted me…
My mother-in-law had a very big heart, proverbially speaking. She gave, gave, gave and planned how to bless people. She blessed my wife, my sons and myself. Well before I came into the picture, 24+ years ago, she was blessing my wife’s cousins, friends and more.
It was the combination of her big heart that embodied both giving and planning that has blessed my family this very day. Based on what she planned to bless us with upon her departure, my perspective has been deeply impacted—solidified. Without going into the details, for obvious private matters, let me share that I (and my wife) are discussing taking extra measures to ensure (aside from the end times occurring) that our sons, their wives and our future lineage will be blessed just as we have currently experienced such a blessing from my dear mother-in-law.
One such lesson that was solidified for me in these last three months has been the value of “stuff” and what I spend money on and how I handle the money I have.
Take, for instance, most of what I own. I bought it because I may need it for a variety of reasons, yet as soon as I buy it, it is only valuable to me and my current needs. Very few things that we buy hold any sustainable value. Aside from property and protected assets assigned to a beneficiary, personal items have little to no value. In fact, after sorting through every piece of my mother-in-law’s personal items, selling what we could, giving what we could and throwing much more, it has become glaringly obvious to me (like never before) that things have no value in the end. Something I spent $50 on today, can hardly be given away once I die—it is utterly worthless unless the next person deems a need for it. How humbling! What we work so hard to save money for and dream of owning is really little rubbish in the end.
Living through this experience, I have joked (partially serious) with my sons, that when I am old and gray, (if their mother is not around), I will live in a rickety old cabin in the woods, hang out with my grandchildren and when I die, you can light a match and burn the cabin down, because all that is of earthly value will be in protected assets (funds) for them. I will have made their job easy in dealing with my earthly death and blessed them with all I have, aside from giving them that which is most important… introducing them to the King of kings.
As we have reminded our sons, time and time again, people are the only thing that matter. People are valuable, material possessions are not. Good stewardship of what we own is indeed critical, yet to keep it all in perspective in the grand scheme of life… people are still the most important. Thus, relationships are paramount. Kin and the legacy of your lineage in the reflection of the kingdom of heaven is essential.
My wife and I have prayed for our sons since before they were born. We prayed for their salvation. Once born, and we knew that God has given us boys, we immediately began praying for their future wives. In the end, the only personal goals that my wife and I have for our lives that trump all other aspirations are the following three matters:
- That our sons have a personal relationship with Jesus and are guided by the Holy Spirit.
- That our daughters-in-law will have a personal relationship with Jesus and will be guided by the Holy Spirit.
- That our future lineage will have a personal relationship with Jesus and will be guided by the Holy Spirit.
My mother-in-law prayed this as well. She lived this and in the ways that she is “taking care of her lineage” after death, her big heart lives on. The way she put others before herself, has dramatically altered my family’s point of view on several matters regarding kinship and how one expresses on-going love to their family beyond the spiritual heritage they can leave.
We hope that in sharing about what we have experienced, as we trudged through losing a loved one, that you will be encouraged and very resolved about the fact that people are more valuable than things and how important it is to plan for what you will leave your heirs.