Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge. I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”
-- Psalm 16:1-2 NIV
Have you ever stopped to think what are your most cherished possessions? If you had to evacuate your home, what would you take with you?
A few days ago, Dave and I found ourselves considering those very questions as mountain wildfires raged just a few miles from our home—the now epic Waldo Canyon Fire so many are still bravely fighting.
Attempting to remain clearheaded and calm, I went through each room in our house, beginning with my office. I saw the awards for my novels, and the irreplaceable research books, some very old and passed along by my mother’s Plain relatives. And I noted the numerous editions of each of my own books—the many dust-jacketed hard covers, as well as foreign, large print, and book club editions.
Ten years ago when we evacuated, due to the Hayman Fire, I packed about thirty boxes of things I thought I would miss! This time, far less. The kids’ framed art, family albums, important papers, two special bracelets from Dave, an heirloom quilt, my leather Bible, and a letter my mother wrote to me, to be read upon her death. The latter is timely, especially because today, June 28, would have been her ninetieth birthday. I love you, my darling Beverly. I believe in you, because you gave your heart to Jesus when you were just a little girl of six, and you yearn to follow His ways. Cling to His loving hand, always…and trust wholly in Him. Reading those words again reminded me of all I really need: the Lord Jesus.
The Lord is our only true refuge. He is our “good thing”—the greatest treasure in my life, and in yours. I knew that. But I realized it afresh as I read the words written by a sweet mother who always encouraged me to follow God and His call upon my heart. To this day, she is the reason I write my inspirational stories.
Yes, it took a very short time to pack my most important things this past week. Tangible memories, impossible to replace. They are now contained in three boxes, waiting in case we have to evacuate. But the best treasures aren’t physical, are they? We remember the precious smiles on the faces of our children and grandchildren, the heartfelt “I love yous” said by our spouses—nothing can take those things away. Best of all, as it says in Romans 8:35, nothing can separate us from the love of God. We carry His love in our hearts each day, no matter how calamitous the circumstances around us.
I wish that kind of love for you and your family. May you, too, find that God is your “good thing” in every circumstance.