With just weeks left before our move it is time to begin the sorting. As the kids go through their bins of toys and prized possessions, I see the years and stages that the various items remind me of. The years that I now know were the years of buried seed. "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain." (John 12:24) These were years of growing as a family, in number as well as maturity. They were good years of struggle; dreaming but never hoping. The dream had died. We didn't know. We didn't know what the Lord had planned. As I watch the kids go through this process I see a picture of tiny shoots of green that are the first signs of the life from the seed that was dead and buried.
It's a slow process. Jo is methodical and organized. Judah got about half-way through his bin before just dumping the entire contents on the floor, and getting reunited with a long lost sticky hand that he claims "will always be sticky!" His exclamations are followed by demonstrations of said stickiness all over the walls and furniture. Annabeth is somewhere in the midst of a disorganized pile of everything she owns. Eowyn is brandishing a plastic dagger and insisting that she be allowed to play with all of Jo's toys. There's some bargaining over discarded toys, who wants to keep what; a few squabbles, a few exclamations of joy over finding something once lost.
But the sound of what I don't hear is the most amazing.
Not one complaint. (Ok, Judah is complaining about how much stuff he has to haul downstairs...But not about the "why" of the job).
Somehow over the past year and a half of us planning and praying into this call, the kids have joined us in their hearts. There will be challenges, moments of frustration and grief--and that is all to be expected. But they are partnering with us and shouldering their part of the burden. And so they too will inherit the promises: "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life." (Matthew 19:29)
This time period for us is like a bridge from the old into the new. We have to be able to put away the old and make room for the new that Jesus has for us. The Israelites were given food from heaven, but instructed not to collect more than they needed for one day. Why? Because God wanted them to trust him for each day, not relying on yesterday's provision. What was provided yesterday was sufficient and miraculous for that day. But in hoarding yesterday's miracle, we lose the expectation and space for today's. All of our "stuff" is a reminder of yesterday's provision and encourages us for today, but in getting rid of the left-overs we make room for the miraculous. Out with the old, in with the new!