Spiritual Hoarders

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

Isaiah 43:2

Have you ever known anyone with a hoarding disorder? Do you have one? I’ve known many people who did not like to throw things away but I have only known one person who accurately fits the title of a hoarder. Actually, I didn’t really know them. We had a mutual friend and I agreed to do a favor for that friend by helping this person move. If I had of known what I was walking into, I would have probably passed. Upon walking into their home, it was obvious this person had never thrown much away. In one corner were over 30 pizza boxes (I counted) and some with full pizzas still in them along with a healthy serving of mold. There were piles of empty milk jugs and empty soda bottles. There were piles and piles of clothes as well as broken pieces of furntiure. When I started asking about throwing things away, there was always a reason to keep everything. The one that really made an impression was the broken couch in one of the bedrooms. When I asked why we couldn’t throw it away, I was told it had belonged to the wife’s grandmother. It had become a memory and, therefore, could not be thrown away. Did I mention they were having to move out because their landlord had grown tired of the mess they had made? These well meaning people were crowding up their life with memories and allowing their past to effect their present and future.

This reminds me of many of us. We hold on to memories that keep us from enjoying our present and it is wrecking our future. Maybe it was something someone said or something they did. Maybe it was a lost opportunity or something we did that we should have. Either way, it is now a broken piece of furniture that is doing nothing more than stopping our progress. Parting with these things can be hard and downright painful. However, it is neccessary. We can never move into tomorrow if we are constantly looking into the rearview mirror. The scripture above reminds us that when we walk through the dark seasons of letting go, we will never have to do it again. This is not an easy journey.

The Bible calls it ‘deep waters’, ‘rivers of difficulty,’ and ‘fires of oppression.’ However, the water and fire will not consume you because God is with you every small step along the way. 

Action Steps:

  • I will not allow my past to destroy my future. 
  • I will take one step toward freedom today.

Prayer Starter:

“God, I need you more than ever today. Walk with me along the painful paths today.”

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