Martha Williams was a beautiful southern belle with a wealthy father who had held on to his fortune during the Civil War, and loved his daughter dearly. In 1890, her beau had asked for her hand in marriage, promising to give her a wonderful life. As the morning of her wedding dawned, she awoke to a note left on her pillow by Daddy. It said to build the home of her dreams and that $75,000 would be her wedding gift to do so. If she were given that amount today, it would be over two million dollars!
Not to be outdone by the bride’s loving parents, the new in-laws gave Martha a gift of their own, telling her to pick any furniture her heart desired while on a honeymoon trip through Europe. They would pay for the pieces and the expense of having them sent to America by way of ship.
Martha was one blessed young lady. She really seemed to have it all. It would bring joy to any young bride’s heart to be so loved, and to have so much in life to enjoy. Her Queen Anne style home still stands in Charleston today, strong and beautiful.
There is no doubt that the possessions of life can bring happiness and excitement to the heart. And having wonderful things is not bad in itself, even God wants His children to be blessed. It is when we fail to keep material things in their proper place in our hearts that we begin to have problems. No one knew this better than Solomon—a man who had everything. He shares his final thoughts on the matter:
Then I tried to find fulfillment by inaugurating a great public works program: homes, vineyards, gardens, parks, and orchards for myself, and reservoirs to hold the water to irrigate my plantations…. But as I looked at everything I had tried, it was all so useless, a chasing of the wind, and there was nothing really worthwhile anywhere. Ecclesiastes 2:4-6 &11
The bible describes Solomon as the wisest man to ever live. We will do well to consider his final conclusions on material possessions, as he had them all. Pray that God would help you to keep things in their rightful place in your heart and life.