Updated: Apr 27, 2020
My sister-in-law said she arrived too late at Costco to get toilet paper. Although she saw the product in the carts of many shoppers it was already gone. Who would ever imagine the mound that once was a common feature at Costco could empty so swiftly? Yet during the coronavirus pandemic the stock that could be counted on for every shopping trip was no longer reliable.
I inventory the rolls in my bathroom cupboard. If someone were to come to me in need, would I hand them one or cling to the dwindling number fearful of letting go should I run out?
A shortage prompts me to pause and consider the way I view my possessions. Do I cling to them for security or would I give away my last roll of toilet paper trusting God to provide? If I examine my ways, most likely many of my possessions create a safety net.
The food in my pantry. I think of George Muller, who housed orphans in Bristol, England but did not ask for funds from people or borrow money to meet needs. He went to God alone, trusting in His faithfulness and provision.
One night his wife announced there was not enough milk for the morning oatmeal. Therefore, they took the need to God in prayer. Shortly after their time of prayer a letter was delivered with more than enough money for milk. Muller believed God will never fail if you walk with Him, look to Him and expect Him to help. He trusted God at His word.
The other morning, I was reading in the book of Jeremiah about the ruined linen sash, which was designed to cling to a man’s waist. In chapter 13 God tells Jeremiah the prophet to purchase a linen sash and hide it in a cleft of the rock near the Euphrates. Several days later God instructs Jeremiah to retrieve it. It was spoiled and good for nothing. God said like the linen sash, he would spoil the pride of Judah because they had stubbornly followed their own heart, refusing to obey Him. They had gone after other gods, serving and worshiping them. Therefore, they would be like the linen sash… good for nothing.
Jeremiah 13:11—“For as the sash clings to the waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me,” says the Lord, “that they may become My people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they would not hear.”
What am I clinging to in place of God? How would God be glorified if I relinquished all my safety nets?
There is nothing wrong in purchasing the large, package of toilet paper at Costco. It saves on shopping trips, thus time and gas money. However, we should be able to let our possessions slip through our fingers as resources for God’s use.
Judah was told they were good for nothing when they went their own way refusing to cling to God. Christians are told something similar… apart from Jesus we can do nothing (John 15:5).
So let us cling tightly; not to false gods like possessions, but to Jesus Christ.