This is a Soapbox post because my family is going through some turmoil at the moment. After serving in the Worship service and after the coffee refreshment, our family was asked to leave the church. Cowboy Preacher preached his last sermon at this pulpit. I sang my last song in that church. My children are devastated by the suddenness. They don't understand how someone can smile, chat and ask after you and then do this. In 30 days we have to vacate the parsonage, whether we find another place or not. We have no grace from this Bride of Christ.
As I pack up our possessions, not knowing if we will even get a van to move it. Knowing that we might have to leave it all. We may have to leave years worth of our things we had collected. We have moved quite often of late and we are mostly down to the very few things that mean something to us. On top of that, we bought new beds for all the kids. It is painful to think about leaving this stuff. The years worth of craft supplies I collected costs a lot of money. My soap supplies, my beads, my paints and scrapbook papers. My children's keepsakes and toys may all have to be left. It was breaking my heart.
Then the Lord whooped me upside the head. He set my thoughts upon Cain and Abel. The story is that Abel gave the Lord the best of his efforts. Cain didn't. I thought back to an article I had read in the last several months about what people give to churches and charities isn't the best. It is often second hand and we no longer have a use for it in our households. It is a second thought. We know who is going to end up getting these things and we don't put forth our best efforts. We see where they are in life and we don't think much of it. We forget they are children of God even if we and they have forgot it. As we try to give the best to our own children to give them a boost into the cruel world, to fully equip them for this world and beyond, shouldn't we also do so for the other children, the children of God?
We should be giving our best efforts to shine the light of Jesus. Our best, not our second best. We do not show the love and grace of my great and almighty God when we don't put in our best effort. I want to be like Abel. I have often found myself doing the Cain thing without thought. I do my best efforts for my own benefit. I am going to have to work better on being like Abel. God has blessed me so often He deserves to be my first thoughts and my best efforts.
So while my best efforts are not enough for the world, I know that the Lord sees me doing my best and that is all that matters. As I pack up our possessions not knowing if we will have to leave them, I know that He is in my heart and that is all I need. So if I cannot take them with us, I will do my best to organize them so that someone else may be blessed with them. If the Lord chooses to bless another with these delightful possessions He had blessed us with, then I hope it is His love and care that shines through. As I clean and prepare this dwelling for another servant of God, I will put forth my best efforts. The Lord has blessed my family and I many times, so I can leave knowing that I am leaving my trappings to the Lord.
As we step into a new adventure following the Lord, I will put in my best efforts. I want to be like Abel. Where would the church be today if we all gave our best? If we were to have Abel's heart of giving? I want to be like Abel, how about you?