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April 18, 2019 | Brenda Price
Sometimes we think the more we have the better our lives will be, but there is one thing that can't be thrown out!! I hope this Devotional from Sharon Jaynes (Proverbs 31 Ministries) encourages you!
I set out to tackle a task I had put off for many years. I didn’t really want to do it at all. It was the job of cleaning out my ministry storage closet. A closet filled with boxes of memories collected over twenty years.
Old magazines with articles I had written dating back to 1996.
Thirty-six inch vinyl posters of book covers beginning in 1999.
A 3-foot lighthouse used in a teaching on motherhood.
A treasure box of oyster shells mixed with a strand of pearls used in another teaching on what can happen with irritations that get under our skin.
Videos of past interviews from television programs that probably don’t even exist any longer.
A box of CDs from ten years of recording Proverbs 31 Ministries radio programs. “Hi, I’m Sharon Jaynes with Proverbs 31 Ministries. Have you ever…”
The programs played through my mind as I dumped one storage bin after another into plastic bags—pieces of my life into black drawstring Hefties. Corners of posters, magazines, cassettes, note-filled binders, and CDs poked through the plastic bags as if trying to escape.
Twenty years. Ten trash bags.
I put the bags out by the street and pondered my day’s work. You’d think I would have been happy to have cleaned out all that clutter, but something inside me ached.
“So that’s it then,” I whispered as I walked away from twenty years of accumulated memories.
The next day my heart felt just about as empty as the newly cleaned shelves…until I opened my email. A word of encouragement waited for me in my inbox. A woman told me about how something I had written had given her the courage to face another day. I won’t go into the details, but her email opened my eyes and my heart to something I already knew, but had forgotten for just a moment.
Those ten trash bags didn’t contain twenty years of ministry or memories. Why? Because memories can’t be put in a trash bag. Because people’s lives can’t be put in a trash bag.
It isn’t our accomplishments and accolades that matter in this life, but the people we impact and the lives we’ve loved.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 ESV
And you can’t put that in a trash bag.