Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Living in the Mist

Do you ever stop to think of what life is really all about? I have been doing that a lot lately. I will tell you with my mouth that it's all about God. I will teach my kids that material things don't matter. So why do they always want more? Why can't they live with a heart for Jesus and eternity? Well, it might be because of their mother.

My friend that has been battling cancer passed away this weekend. I know other friends that are in deep grief. There are people hurting all around me. And do you know what I've been thinking about? Money. Poor, poor me raising five kids one income. This month was extra tight because of a mix up. Other people are taking trips we can't afford and buying things that I want. My kids can't have all the material things they want to have, things I'd like to buy them.

So I was challenged about my contentedness. How much is enough? Would I be content when we all had our own computers and entertainment systems? Or if we took a nice family trip?
I have to ask myself if I am I willing to be at peace wherever God puts me. Am I content with doing the things He has called me to do no matter what the cost? And the crazy thing is the cost isn't that big. We have two cars, a house, food, savings and insurance. In comparison with most of the rest of the world, we are super rich. But in comparison to a lot of other people it doesn't seem like enough.

I have no doubt that God knows my heart because He's pruning away at a lot of stuff that just isn't right. Being content comes from faith. Faith that God will indeed do as He promised and provide for us. We may not know from day to day how he will do it. Most people in the American church don't have to have that kind of faith. We rely on ourselves, our jobs, our saving accounts. We don't wonder where our next meal is going to come from. So, He allows us the opportunity to live by faith by making bank dates get messed up. I was on a mission to make it work. I desired to be content and have faith. And I knew it was short lived. Next month it will all balance out.

In the first week of the month, a lady in our church asked if we wanted a ham. She got it from her husband's company and she doesn't cook big meals anymore (I can only dream of that day!) She was at my door with it within the hour. It was massive. I cooked it. I cut up the leftovers for many more meals. We got several other food gifts that stocked our freezer.

So, here we are at the end of the month. And honestly I can't believe it. God knew I needed the opportunity to live by faith, not by bank.

This is where it gets weird. Just this week we had two people give us big, luxury items. Out of the blue. So on top of providing for our needs, he is providing for things we don't even need. And I'm blown away. We do not deserve anything yet God is gracious enough to show us who is in control of everything. He owns it all.

Our life here is a vapor. It's like the little bit of smoke left after a match goes out. I have the choice to spend it chasing after and worrying about and paying for earthly things or investing in God's work that will last forever.
Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. James 4:13-17

But is that how we live? Do we live trying to work for more, whine for what we don't have? Do we spend all our time and effort on selfish pursuits? Is life all about houses and cars and money? I think most of us would say no. But is that how we live? Our kids will learn way more about what life is all about by what we do than what we say. So what do you say and what do you do? How do you live in the mist?

Matthew 6:19-21
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:25-34

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

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