Luke 12:15-21 Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”  And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive.  “And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’  “Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  ‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”‘  “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’  “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

This weekend I started my move to an apartment much closer to my office.  So far I have carted three carloads down the stairs from my old digs, driven across town, and trudged loaded with boxes back upstairs to the new one. 

Every time I have to pack things up, I am amazed at just how much stuff I have accumulated – especially books.  At times my possessions seem to control me.

While sweating over my packing, my thoughts drifted to the suffering folks in Oklahoma.  So many had their homes and possessions totally destroyed; some lost their lives.  And the waves of torrential weather continue. 

Like the rich man in the parable, many are obsessed with wealth, either trying to get it or keep what they have already accumulated.  This effort is futile.

Network reporters recorded the reactions of those who lost everything in the twisters.  Some wept over the loss of their homes.  Others rejoiced that their families and friends were not injured.  Why the difference?

Their attitudes result from their perspectives.  Property can be replaced; people cannot.  Even destroyed family heirlooms don’t have near the value of human life.

How would I react if a hurricane hit central Florida and destroyed my stuff?  I can’t know for sure, but I would like to think that I could thank the Lord that my life was spared; or rejoice with Him in heaven if I didn’t survive. 

In the meantime, you and I can help those who struggle through tornadoes and terrorist attacks, floods and fires, hurricanes and drought.  We can be rich toward God and our fellows.  Here are some links —

World Vision

Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief

North American Mission Board Disaster Relief

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