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A Place to Put It

“Take no purse, or bag, or sandals...” (Luke 10:4)
Catch phrases are part of our language and culture. Abbreviated words and phrases, street talk, and slang are commonplace today. Ever heard the term, “Don’t shoot the messenger!” or “Take it to the next level!” or how about “Whaaattssuuup?”?

We want quick forceful ways to express ideas, and catchphrases do the trick. These phrases go through stages from birth, to expanded use, to acceptance, to popularity, to overuse, and finally to extinction.

Believe it or not, these trite, overused phrases actually catch people’s attention. They made people THINK. Over time, we find them useful to express current reality. From there, they spread through our society like the common cold, until one day, we just quit using them.

Today, I want to let you in on the “ground floor” of an up-and-coming catchphrase. Sometimes in life, we find ourselves facing situations that go beyond our mental spiritual and emotional boundaries. Our postmodern culture brings us into contact with situations and conflicts never faced before. My colleagues have begun using a term for these situations. The phrase is “no place to put it.”

Our brains are designed to create categories, to discover meaning, and bring order out of chaos. We see designs in clouds, and subtle variations of color in nature. As human beings we are perplexed when we encounter anything that defies our categories. At the same time, life is filled with situations we can’t always comprehend, much less handle, on our own. Often, we really don’t “have a place to put it.”

We NEED a place to put these things.
In Luke 10, Jesus sent seventy two disciples to various towns and villages. They were given specific instructions. I’m afraid I’d have a problem following one of the instructions; the instruction to “take no purse or bag or sandals...” Here’s the deal, I have too much stuff! I take so much stuff on my journey, the journey itself takes second place. I have briefcases, duffel bags, and backpacks. I have a lot of stuff and I need a place to put it!

In Luke 10:7, the disciples were told to stay in the house they entered, and eat and drink what was offered. The purpose is clear; they were to depend on the Providence of God. The Bible doesn’t mention any physical object Jesus carried in His ministry. His only possession at death was his robe, and I bet it had no pockets. Why? He relied on God’s gracious Providence!

You see, God knows we will face situations and realities that defy our human-made categories. Certainly God expects us to use our resources to prepare for whatever life brings our way. Spouses will sometimes leave, cancer may return, our job or other source of income may go away. We NEED a place to put these things. Let’s put them where Jesus put them. Let’s put them in the hands of God, a place stronger, safer, and greater than any backpack or briefcase. Let’s depend on Him to sustain us. This will leave us free to follow Him each day, and it will give us confidence He will care for us.

Find the only place to put it today — the Hands of the Lord!