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The Revolution Today: Scarce Belongings
We were denied visas (again!),” a friend e-mailed. The Andersons (name changed) had been living in Central Asia, where they ran a nonprofit organization that provided ...

The Revolution Today: Scarce Belongings

We were denied visas (again!),” a friend e-mailed.

The Andersons (name changed) had been living in Central Asia, where they ran a nonprofit organization that provided job training. John and Heather Anderson were people of faith who built relationships and shared their experience and beliefs in a friendship-like way. They returned to the States in the spring of 2006 so Heather could give birth to their third child in America.

Before leaving Central Asia, they received a visit from a government official. The inspection went well and the Andersons hoped they would finally receive long-term visas to continue living in their host country.

But they received the bad news during their stay in the States. Not only were they denied long-term visas, but they were also denied short-term visas. As a result, they could not return, even to collect their belongings. “Now, we are faced with the reality thatour family will not be able to get back into Central Asia to get our stuff … We were denied entry to the country, even for one month,” they wrote.

The Andersons took comfort by honestly confessing their disappointment and looking to the promises of Scripture. They didn’t try to hide behind a façade of fake faith. Their hearts were genuinely broken over their loss of friendships and possessions. “I would love to say that we ‘joyfully accepted’ all of this, but that’s probably not entirely accurate. But we can truthfully say that through all of this we are beginning to seethe true value of focusing on our ‘better and enduring possessions’ (Hebrews 10:34) in heaven,” John wrote.

But their story did not end in homelessness. Their nonprofit organization found another place for them to live. “Once I learned we’d be moving to Turkey, I e-mailed a guy who works there, just to say we would be living close to him. He replied and said they were actually moving to the States for at least a year and wanted to know if I would be interested in using their furniture and stuff (including bikes and toys for the boys) so that he can avoid paying for a storage unit,” Mr. Anderson wrote.

At the time of their e-mail exchange, the Andersons didn’t know they wouldn’t be able to retrieve their belongings. But God knew what they needed. After losing almost all of what they owned, they were able to move into a completely furnished house.

Whether we lose a single piece of jewelry on a vacation or all our belongings in a fire, loss is extremely difficult. It is hard to imagine the scarcity George Washington and his army faced. There are times in life, even in the midst of plenty, when God reminds us to hold our possessions loosely and to concern ourselves with more lasting valuables.

Prayer

God, I thank you for the gift of material goods, knowing you provide more lasting possessions for me in heaven.

“You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions”

(Hebrews 10:34).


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