it's just a couch...
The final straw and push for me to pursue church planting amidst an unreached people group was on a trip to Papua New Guinea in November 2017. Soon after arriving home in the US, I made my way back up to my cozy little cabin at Hume Lake. It was the weekend after Thanksgiving and keeping with tradition, amidst the jetlag, I brought in a tree and pulled out all of my Christmas decorations and set everything up as soon as I got home. The next morning as I sat in my wingback chair with my cup of coffee getting ready to spend some time in the Word, I looked out the window next to my Christmas tree with the perfectly placed twinkling lights and saw that it was beginning to snow just as the sun was starting to rise. It was this beautiful moment where all was still and calm and I began to scan my inviting little home, surveying all the material possessions I had gathered over the years.
As I looked at all my things, knowing that this new chapter would mean selling and letting go of the majority of it, I found myself praying… “God, I do love my stuff...”. And then my attention moved to my brand new couch that I had just purchased that summer. It came after much research and saving up and was a purchase I did not take lightly. As I continued talking out loud to God, I said, “I really do love this couch, is it bad that I’m having a hard time knowing I am giving these things up?”. Then I felt this still small thought, that I know can only be from the Lord say, “So, are you not going to go because you want to keep your couch?”. Which honestly just felt laughable. Because the reality is, in 20 years this couch will probably be in a dumpster somewhere or may have stains, worn places and no longer look as pristine or in style as it currently is.
But my hope is that 20 years from now there will be a people group, a language group, a tribe that will have heard of the name of Jesus and will hopefully have His Word in their language. And even more, Lord willing, a thriving church that will continue on for decades and centuries to come because I am willing to give up this couch. The comparison seems laughable.
It is really hard to gain perspective in life if we are holding so tightly to the things we love. An eternal perspective is when we can step outside of ourselves and step outside of the things we love and ask ourselves, “Lord, what do you want me to do with this one precious life you have given me?” And then choose to trust Him with whatever the answer to that question is. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
What things are you currently holding on to that are keeping you from being used by God?