Inventory is not necessarily one of my favorite pastimes. I tend to be a bit (okay, a lot) more spontaneous (oh alright, haphazard) in my organizational skill set than my husband, Bob. In the past 39 years, that much is evident.
Nonetheless, now that retirement has arrived, the massive purging process at our homestead will soon begin (yeah, right.) At least, that’s the plan.
I’m pretty impressed with this guy, Ezra, as he steps forward to help lead a large group of Israelites out of captivity back to the homeland. The reigning king of their captivity had ordered massive amounts of gold, silver and other provisions to be given to the released Jews for their trip to Jerusalem. Ezra records it as follows:
I weighed the treasure as I gave it to them and found the totals to be as follows:
(and it was a lot!)
And I said to these priests, “You and these treasures have been set apart as holy to the LORD. This silver and gold is a voluntary offering to the LORD, the God of our ancestors…”
What I find informative here is that Ezra was detail conscious with God’s possessions, as shown by the inventory prior to setting out on the journey. He wanted to make sure not one speck was missing when they arrived. Why? Because it belonged to God.
The inventory also made the priests accountable. If something turned up missing at the journey’s end, guess who might get fired (or worse). So it wasn’t a completely comfortable job.
Which makes me think about the importance of taking inventory in my life, my heart. It’s easy to say, “it all belongs to God.” But there is something basic and accountable about committing it to paper and then adding to the ledger as more is revealed.
There may be instances when I don’t perceive certain things as “treasures” like God does. It was easy to see the gold and silver glittering in the Middle Eastern sun. It not quite so easy to see some of my past experiences, painful as the memories may be, as part of the treasure God has set apart as holy when I come to Jesus.
Or how about interests, personality traits, untapped skills? Relationships, even unpleasant ones?
And, of course, the most precious treasure of Jesus—how am I guarding that one?
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
I put that one at the top of the list.
Ezra 8:26,28; 2 Corinthians 4:7 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.