I am thinking there is a story in this experience as I am helping a woman in a neighboring community dig through the remains of her home after the devastating tornadoes of April 27, 2011.
She and her mother, niece and her niece’s infant daughter were all huddled in the hallway of her home when these monstrously devastating tornadoes literally leveled her home. All that was left was the interior walls (where they were huddled) and the foundation. Her car was now in the kitchen, the roof and all four walls gone.
Our church began helping these families almost immediately with the basic job of salvaging whatever they could from this now wasteland of a neighborhood to begin a new life elsewhere.
A fellow church member and I volunteered to go with this lady back to her home one more time to search for her eyeglasses and a new iron she had never opened. As we drove up to her house, I’d never seen devastation like this!
We started climbing into the house and looking in the general area of where these items might be. We looked as long as we could until the smell (as it had rained earlier in the week) and heat took us over. She conceded that these items were probably gone with the wind.
We asked was there anything else she would like to look for before we left and she said “Yes”! “Could we look in the kitchen cabinets for my mother’s bowl and my stock pots?”
We said “Yes” and after climbing over the hood of her car to get into the kitchen, we began looking into the cabinet. We found her mom’s bowl and after digging in the back of the bottom cabinets, found her stock pots. She was so excited she began telling us the recipes that she always made each year in those pots, caramel icing for her caramel cake for Christmas and her hamburger soup.
As we pulled those pots out of the cabinets, the scripture struck me, “But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.” Matthew 6:20
And to add to that verse, where tornadoes do not suck away, never to be seen.
As the seasons change and we all begin to clean out closets, cull out unused clothes and items that we simply do not need, ponder this verse also, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Make money-bags for yourselves that won’t grow old, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.” Luke 12:33
I pray that you join me in praying and asking God to help us both to not put our stock in our pots, so when those pots or material things are suddenly taken away, we know our treasure is secure in God and His love for us. Lead the women God has entrusted to you to do the same!
Dawn Stephens has been involved in women’s ministry in both volunteer and staff positions for many years. She is the Associate Minister of Local Disciplemaking and Women’s Small Groups at The Church at Brook Hills, in Birmingham, Alabama. Her desire is to train, equip and encourage women to use their God given gifts and abilities to show Christ’s love and grace to our world. She graduated from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Women’s Ministry certificate program, has served on the Alabama Baptist State Women’s Ministry leadership team, and serves as a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier.