What Do You Value?
I have a confession. I spent much of my days falsely believing that I am owed a happy life. This stubborn inclination is wrong. This propensity thinking shows me that I have not learned to know that God is the only solution to every fear. Jesus is the ONLY answer. Please understand there is SO MUCH about this world that is good and beautiful even though it is filled with broken and fallen people. And there are so many good gifts that God gives us. As Paul said, “God richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17). In Ecclesiastes 2:24, Solomon wrote that to enjoy our work and our food each day is a gift from God.
Yes! We are created to enjoy life! But in our selfishness, we end up worshiping the gift and not the giver of all great gifts. It’s so easy to seek for life and falsely believe that God is our assistant in our endeavors, our scrambling, our grasping for more of life…. we hold on with clenched fists. The problem with “clenched fists” is that the gift in our hands becomes our idol. I am guilty of holding onto the gifts that God has graciously given me with these fists. This becomes idol worship. So, when the gift gets taken away or things aren’t going “our way” we become more upset if we haven’t cultivated an intimate relationship with God. The truth is life often gets turned “upside down.” God, from time to time, disrupts our lives so that we release our grasping of life the way we think it should go in the here and now. This usually happens through pain. These sorrows of our lives are a great part of the weaning process. As long as our happiness is tied to the things we can lose, we are vulnerable.
Yesterday I spent 4 hours in the Social Security office. It certainly wasn’t my favorite way to spend a beautiful sunny day. In fact, I was quite “sad” that I couldn’t be home with my son and his friend who were waiting for me at the pool. As I walked into the office my selfish side came up. I asked around how long people had waited to have their number called. The elderly weary looking woman on the right said 3 hours with an exhausted look on her face. Her look made my selfish side melt away. I asked her if she needed anything? It was incredible hot in the office, so I asked her if she would like a cup of water. She cheered up a bit and said” Yes, it’s too hard to get there with this walker and carry the cup” so in that office God gave me a mission. God challenged me, he said to me, “Love, you have said that you want to go ALL in with me. Then make yourself available to the needs in front of you. Be my Ambassador in this dismal place.” I looked around me and I prayed for all of these people. Life had obviously taken twists and turns that they didn’t predict. The thing is that I can relate! Bankruptcy, disability, sickness, and someone that stole all of our ministry money. Instead of sitting there “stewing” about what a rotten day this was going to be I yielded myself to God as His spirit moved in me. I do indeed want to be a “difference maker” and respond to the needs in front of me. I asked God who, out of the at least 70 desperate people in this hot depressing room, did He want me to focus on. Behind me a young man with a child on his lap tapped me on the shoulder. “Mam, can I please borrow your pen”. Yes, of course I said as I turned around and gave him my pen. Sir, I asked him, how long have you sat here with your 2 children? He said “3 ½ hours now. My kids haven’t eaten lunch.” I commented on how incredibly patient and well behaved the kids were. Sir, if you like you can take your kids over to the deli next door. If they call your number I will quickly grab you. He and his kids cheered up as they left for a sandwich.
As I ponder God’s love for me and pray for that man and his children I read this verse: Jesus says” I am in the Father and the Father is in me (John 14:10). This blows me away! If we are the Living Christ that means that today we are filled with the same Spirit that filled Jesus! And Jesus and his Father are breathing the same breath, the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit is the intimate communion that makes Jesus and His Father one! WOW is all I can say! And get this, the Spirit that guided Jesus guides us! And if we are children, then we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ! (Romans 8:16-17). And if we are willing to share in Christ’s suffering we also will share in His glory!
So, as I sat I brought all of my own apprehensions and fears to God. Lord, will you help me here, I am in a desperate place and I need your help. God came into my heart and gave me courage and His assurance in me. I now grab hold of my Father’s assurance as He says “Sweetheart, I will never ever leave you!” I stand up in confidence as they call my number. God did indeed come through with words of comfort and provision from the case worker. Now that is GOOD NEWS! Making an incredible day to serve our King! Literally mind blowing!