Sunday, July 24, 2016

Throw Off the Weight that Entangles

This is my rendering of Little York Lake. It is a watercolor painting I did of the view from the porch of the lake house my folks owned for twenty years. I was grown when they bought it, but lived only an hour away, so brought my two young sons to visit nearly every weekend of the summer. I taught them to sail, canoe, and fish. We had many marshmallow roasts over evening bonfires while lightning bugs romanced the flickering flames. I painted countless scenes of that beautiful place.

I LOVED it there. It had been my father's dream to own a house on the lake one day, and I am so grateful that he was able to retire and live his dream. They sold the lake house when it became too much for them to care for. I helped as much as I could, but then we moved to NC, and it was impossible to help as much as they needed.

Now, my husband and I are empty-nesters. Our home is too much house for just two people, and the lawn care and upkeep is more than we really want to do. So we are looking at condos on the lake. I guess I am more like my dad than I realized. I can think of almost nothing more wonderful than sitting on a deck overlooking the lake, and working on my next novel...or painting the scenery.

We visited several possible condos yesterday. Both of us stepped on the deck of this one, pictured below, and fell in love. The condo is small, and we would have to throw out half our possessions...but we think it might be worth it for this deck overlooking the water.

We are to hold loosely to the things where 'moth and dust corrupt' anyway. Clinging to possessions weighs down the soul. I know, because we collected ten bags of items for Goodwill from our linen closet alone in prep for the realtor coming in tomorrow to tell us what we need to do to sell the house. It felt very freeing to bag towels, sheets, washcloths that hadn't surfaced for ten years to give to someone else. How did we ever accumulate so much stuff?

When hubby and I were young, we biked across the country. We had to lug all our possessions we would need to survive on the back of our bike. It gave us a deep appreciation of how little one really needs to live. If one is forced to carry the weight of one's things on a long journey, those items grow heavier and heavier as the road stretches on and on.

I love the Bible verse Hebrews 12:1 -- Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

Our possessions that weigh us down are like the sin that so easily entangles. How much better to throw that weight off us, and then run with a light step to the finish line. The difference with sin and possessions is it is impossible to remove the weight of sin on our own. Anyone who is human, and I suspect most of my blog readers are, knows that no sooner do we make the promise we will never again lose our temper, be arrogant, be lazy, be unkind, be patient...etc...than we are back to the same old business like a dog to his vomit. 

Ultimately, we need help to leave a life of sin which is sadly ingrained deeply in every one of us. Fortunately, we have help. Jesus, the author and perfecter of our souls becomes our righteousness when we put our faith in Him, and He is able to loose the terrible burden.

Now if only He will help us finish whittling away our belongings and help us move them. It would be so easy for Him...

1 Peter 3:18 

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.


  1. These are some of my favorites art works of yours!

  2. I did not realize how much time you spent at the lake, as I was only there sporadically. But we must all be drawn to water, as I hope to close on my lakefront property this Friday. Not as nice as Little York lake, but not as much work either...