by Linda Cox

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth … But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven … For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ Matthew 6:19-21 NIV

My aching body told me I had overdone it. I had been busy for days packing twenty-nine years of my life into boxes. Lots of boxes. I sighed and thought: Somebody should shoot me for having this much stuff. No doubt the friends helping me move would agree.

Why in the world do we accumulate so much stuff? I rationalize having done so because most of mine is sentimental, reminding me of family and friends, of God’s love and blessings. That when I settle into my new home, I’ll feel comfortable there because opening the boxes will release all those memories.

But I also realized something as I looked around. I could see the character of the house so clearly. I had forgotten how the wooden furniture shined when nothing was on it, how much open space there was without all my stuff cluttering up the place. There was a sense of freedom as I stood there, taking in the simple beauty of the house. And somehow it seemed as if God’s presence shone brighter too.

Wow! My earthly treasures, as sentimental as they might be, were actually cluttering my view, closing me in, and stealing my appreciation for the basics of life.

I had no doubt God was trying to tell me something. Just as our earthly stuff clutters up our lives, we can allow things to clutter our relationship with God. Our possessions can become so important, so numerous, and so time consuming that the plain and simple beauty of our Lord’s love is lost.

But even more so, our busyness can pull us away from the peace and joy a relationship with Him brings. Our failure to spend time with Him, studying His Word and praying regularly, allows the clutter of the world to block His voice speaking to us. And little by little, God’s glorious presence in our lives can become dull, even hidden.

Maybe this is a good time for us to do some spring cleaning, move that clutter right on out of our lives, and watch the glory of the Lord’s salvation shine through. The glory that reminds us that God is our greatest treasure—now and forever.

Linda Cox is a regular contributor to DivineDetour. She recently retired after twenty-five years as a district office secretary for the State of Illinois. Her first loves are studying the Bible and reading, but she occasionally tries her hand at writing. Her work is published in All My Bad Habits I Learned from Grandpa (Thomas Nelson),The One-Year Life Verse Devotional(Tyndale), Life Lessons from Grandparents(Write Integrity), Love Is a Verb (a devotional from Bethany House), and Chicken Soup for the Soul’s I Can’t Believe My Dog Did That. She lives on a farm with the “Bone Mafia,” her two indoor/outdoor farm mutts.