Whenever I am discouraged about my walk, I always find myself looking back to my journals about my missions trips. The past two years I have felt like have progressed but digressed in my walk with God. But then without a shadow of a doubt, it is nothing of what I feel when I look at my journals. I know exactly how I felt on the trips and how God met me, but my journals reflect nothing of the sort. All I see is a childish representation of the glorious experiences that I was blessed to see.
I think back to Colombia, waking up to the crisp air in the morning on the dew filled grass of the Andes. I walk outside, and all around me I am surrounded by lush green mountains, that are home to flowers, cows and other wandering creatures of the earth. Everywhere you look there is beauty among poverty. And everyone you find is happy, loving and welcoming.
Maybe that is it, beauty amongst poverty, happiness lies within. Maybe Christ truly gave us the key to happiness in the temple that day and by the side of the Jordan River. One day, a man came up to Jesus and asked what good thing he must do to have eternal life. Jesus replied questioning why he asked of what is good, for there is only One who is good. If he wanted to enter life, he must keep all of the commands. Confused the rich man said, I have kept these commands, yet what do I still lack? And Jesus replied, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” [Mt.19:21] When the man heard these words, he became increasingly sad and devastated, for he was a very rich man.
Yet in the temple one day, Jesus watched others giving and those who were more than able giving sparingly. And then walks up a poor widow&places two small coins in the treasury and is commended by Christ.”Truly I say to you, this poor woman has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” [Luke 21:3-4]
The man in all of his wealth could not find it in his heart to give his all, yet this woman who had nothing found it in her heart to give all she had left to live. In comparison, it is the woman who became perfect in the sense of the word in Matthew 19. She was essence 0f the word’s definition in Greek: ” wanting nothing necessary to completeness”. If then she could give all she had out of nothing to be happy, how much more in our abundance could we give to our King? Why is it so hard for us to let go of our grip on our wallet and give all to God? I think that is the key to their happiness, that a simple life produces much peace. And a perfect peace in Christ produces a perfect joy and completeness in Him.
Every time I go on one of these trips, it is always the lack of possessions in harmony with happiness and love that astounds me and leads me to doubletake on reality: what do I really treasure? What do I really place my hope? Do I cling to my wallet for security or will I be willing to be complete and have total faith to trust God in all areas? Will I love strangers as these strangers have love and accepted me so easily? Yet how frequently is frequent enough to remind myself of how easy it is to be complete? There isn’t a day when I don’t think about those days and somehow I still fail to remember not to take all of God’s blessings for granted. Therefore, I must always remind myself daily to live in light of Him who has given me life and has saved it time after time.
Just one big run-on of a thought of mine
P.S. 64 days to go and only $100 left on my plane ticket [sort of]