“You don’t want this any longer? You used to love this!”
My daughter was doing a spring cleaning of her room at our home after returning home from college. Neatly piled in the hallway leading to her room, were multiple stacks of nineteen years of accumulated possessions and memories. As I rummaged through the items, I was surprised by some of the things she was choosing to donate or discard.
“Dad! I did love it…when I was eight years old!”
“Ok, Sweetheart.” I picked through some other stacks. “Wait, you’re not throwing out these stuffed animals? You loved these!”
It is a time when we discard or donate things that we think we no longer need, but the process is far from perfect. Even after many Spring cleanings, my closet is still filled with many dusty memories, most of which are meaningful only to me and no one else. In addition to my high school diploma and yearbooks, I have my certificate of completion for a summer electronics class when I was eleven years old. There is a medal for participation in a Shakespearean drama festival when I was in the ninth grade. And there are more, many more. I keep them because of sentimental value, believing these items are representative of important events and accomplishments in my life. I wonder, though, if God were to do a Spring cleaning in my life, what would he choose to keep and discard?
In that room were a gold incense altar and a wooden chest called the Ark of the Covenant, which was covered with gold on all sides. Inside the Ark were a gold jar containing manna, Aaron’s staff that sprouted leaves, and the stone tablets of the covenant.
Hebrews 9:4 (NLT)
Within one of Israel’s most sacred possessions, the Ark of the Covenant, God selected three precious items to retain: manna, Aaron’s staff, and the stone tablets upon which were inscribed the Ten Commandments and laws of the covenant. Certainly, these are important items to keep for posterity but why didn’t God choose something else, like a piece of Noah’s ark? Surely that would have been a meaningful item? While I may think so, God’s thoughts and ways are not ours. God ordained that it was with these items that He wanted the Israelites to remember His promises to deliver them from oppression and their enemies. He discarded the rest and kept the best.
When I do a Spring cleaning, I discard things that I think I will no longer need. When we allow God to perform a Spring cleaning in our lives, He only selects the items that will draw us closer to Him, to remember and rely upon His promises.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.