January 2024

Unopened Boxes

I slit the tape on the box and pried it open. A musty smell wafted up from the scrunched packing paper as I removed the top layer. One by one I unwrapped the items tucked within the box that had been in storage for several years and placed them on the dining room table. As I unveiled them, some long forgotten, I took a journey back in time.

There were old journals with notes I’d made from my dear father’s sermons. There were books I had once held dear and now look forward to rediscovering. There was a lovely banker’s lamp (which my husband promptly swept away to a new home on his desk). There was a tray of smooth rocks that made me smile as I remembered carefully choosing them especially for color. I even uncovered a handsome silver pomegranate given me by my mother, which I had remembered but didn’t know where it might be.

And there was a broken lamp shade which, made me sad because it had been quite fetching. A handful of tea towels which were too old and dirty to revive, even with washing. A very mashed and lumpy throw pillow, definitely beyond its useful life. These all had to go in the trash.

I also unpacked some rather attractive home decor items which were still in their original packaging, never having been opened. Did I buy them for our new home, which is no longer new? Maybe I had saved them to be given as gifts. I don’t recall my reasons or the names of any potential giftees. As they are in the light of day now, I hope to find appropriate resting places for them where they can bring a touch of beauty to the eye of the beholder.

Before I can find a home for these recovered and rescued things from the past, I still have to get a damp rag and a dry cloth to the lot, and some of the items will need a good soak in some soapy water. Such is the cost of storing things away in boxes.

As I am currently in a season of fasting, all things tend to be viewed as having spiritual significance, and this weekend project most assuredly speaks to my heart. And what of my heart, O Lord? Are there places I have relegated to storage? Are there yet boxes we need to unpack? Are there forgotten treasures? Dare I brave the musty and possibly broken things we might find? Thank you, Lord of my heart, that you take me by the hand and lead me in paths of righteousness.

“Search me, God, and know my heart;
Put me to the test and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there is any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24 NASB)

Dear One, do you have unopened boxes? Won’t you take the time to bring the contents to light and polish any forgotten treasure? Maybe, like me, you are hesitant or fearful of finding what may need to be repaired or even thrown away. Let us remember His promises. He is the author and perfecter of our faith, and He always finishes what He begins.

Until next week, beloved, open the doors of your heart to the wind of the Spirit and the light of His love.

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