On April 18th & 19th, 2018, a team of movers came to our house to pack and ship what we wanted with us in Italy. The goods consisted of beds, chairs, a couch, tables, clothing, cooking accessories, photos, and cabinetry such as dressers and armoires. The packed items were then taken to a warehouse and further prepped for a very long journey, placed in a giant shipping container, sent (perhaps by train or truck) to Chicago, then placed onto a ship that would make its way for the next few weeks across the ocean. In case you’re curious, it is almost two months later and we still do not have our things… maybe a topic for a future post on patience!

Leading up to this move we had hundreds (perhaps thousands) of decisions to separate our possessions into what goes to Italy, what to send to storage and what to let go of. The items chosen to send to Italy are planned to be used for the next three years. Conversely, the storage items would sit for three years unused. Then the rest of it was deemed unnecessary; useless to us.

Arriving into Europe there was a similar pattern of separation. US currency no longer accepted, and many electronics do not work (or would be fried) due to the difference in voltage.

As humans we separate, and so does our creator:

The Parable of the Net

47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. 48 When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous50 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:47-50)

These words are tough to take in. The thought of being thrown into a fiery furnace with weeping and gnashing of teeth is truly the ultimate worse case scenario. We often wish these words weren’t true, we’d like to think that perhaps everyone is “good” and we all end up happily ever after.

The fact is that God is real, so is his book, and so are his promises. His judgment is fair (whether we like it or not). Knowing the harshness of eternal separation, he gave us a gift, grace and mercy through the sacrifice of his son Jesus Christ. Jesus was tortured and killed as he took the penalty so that we would not be separated from him. It is ours to choose; not someone choosing for us. Eternity with him or without him.

Today’s Psalm: Psalm 110