This Story Will Bug You

I pulled one of my favorite wool sweaters over my head only to find it riddled with tiny holes. It looked like Swiss cheese!

Then it happened to another sweater and a wool skirt. One by one as I tried on my winter clothes little holes appeared in them. I was disturbed and perplexed.

After several days of anxious investigation, I discovered the reason for the damage. When we moved to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, a former occupant of our government quarters had unknowingly left us a "welcoming gift"--insect larva that eat wool.

We took samples to our country extension service, and they identified the insect as rare, not native to Kansas, and probably from overseas.

The worst loss was the tiny outfit knit by a Swedish aunt for my husband's birth. My mother-in-law is not a saver, and this was the one thing she'd treasured enough to save from my husband's baby things. When it dissolved into holes, I sadly put the tiny mother-of-pearl buttons in a small envelope.

We had to have our house “bombed” with insecticide, and we sent all of our wool items to a warehouse where they sprayed and encased them for several days to insure the larva eggs died.

It was an "itchy period" in our lives caused by a very tiny enemy, but it was not the first time God had taught me about "earthly treasure."

I started learning that lesson with our first of many moves in the Army. And I got a refresher course with each move after that. Sometimes moving companies damaged things I treasured, and before I discovered how to handle small items, I had a packer pocket some jewelry that had sentimental value.

However, moving damage didn't seem nearly as formidable as this tiny larva, no longer than an eyelash, that was eating my woolens.

But God uses all things for our good (Romans 8:28), and He used this little larva to remind me again of Christ's words in Matthew 6:19-21:

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.” (NLT)

Earthly treasure, no matter how permanent it seems, isn't really permanent. Yet we spend much of our lives, "hearts, and thoughts" accumulating and worrying about it. In contrast, the things we do for Christ are permanent and safe...they can't be stolen, lost or eaten by larva! When we realize this truth, it sets us free! 

Help us, Lord, to set our hearts and thoughts on heavenly treasure! copyright Gail Burton Purath, 2011 
This story was first published on Wives in Bloom.

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