By Gail Marsh
As you grew up, did you have a hope chest? In recent decades, this once-common custom has become almost obsolete - falling out of tradition since the mid ’70s. But in earlier centuries, the hope chest was seen as a way for a woman to contribute to her future household.
Traditionally, the hope chest was made of wood, often cedar, and was filled, little by little, with household linens, kitchenware, bedding, and clothing. These items were collected over the course of several years, with the idea that one day a young woman would use her “household trousseau” to set up her first home away from home, whether with her husband or on her own. In many cases, items inside the hope chest included handmade gifts from relatives, jewelry, quilts, and heirlooms passed down from one generation to the next.
There’s something happily optimistic about a hope chest. Imagine peeking inside one now. Imagine breathing in the pungent cedar smell. Catch a glimpse of your own “blessing trousseau” as you reread today’s Bible verse.
For all eternity, your lavishly loving Lord has been storing up goodness - for you. This goodness is so much better than hand-embroidered pillowcases or antique jewelry. It far outweighs the value of any treasured family heirloom. What is this “great goodness”?
But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works (Psalm 73:28 ESV).
Real blessing, true goodness, is to be near God. Contrary to popular belief, God’s greatest gifts to his people are not health or wealth, notoriety or power. Nearness to our heavenly Father is the ultimate good, the ultimate blessing.
Our good and gracious heavenly Father loved us so lavishly that he made nearness to him possible - through his Son. Through the cross and empty tomb of Jesus, God made it possible to pour out his lavish love on us. Now, God holds you close to his heart. Always.
Prayer starter: Lord Jesus, hold me close to yourself today. Remind me that nearness to you is the best blessing of all . . .
Editor’s note: Are you planning a women’s retreat for this fall? Did you know that CTA offers FREE retreat outlines? Today’s devotion comes from Precious and Dearly Loved and you can download a FREE retreat outline to accompany this theme - right now!
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