July 16, 2012

oh blurg.

Just a few random thoughts today . . .

In this country, most of us walk around without realizing our need for God. Think about it - how many resources do you have at your fingertips? I don't have to struggle or fight to have food on my table, or to pay my bills. I have a roof over my head, air conditioning, my own car, access to just about everything via networking and the internet, if I drive 5 minutes down the street I can buy anything I want at the grocery store. And even if I don't have the money, I do have a credit card - so I can still buy things.

How often do I depend on God to get me through the day? It's easier to focus on the small inconveniences and frustrations or "first world problems" that we have . . . the barista at Starbucks taking too long to make our latte, the lines at the grocery store, rush hour traffic. Rarely do I realize how desperately I need my Father and how He, the Creator and sustainer, is the one who provides every single thing - and without Him I have nothing.

So often we as Americans not only walk around as if we don't need God, but when we do realize we need God, we warp that into believing that He is not enough. Sure, God provided us a way out of hell and He gave us the gift of life, but it's not enough . . . we "need" that relationship, we need people to like us, we need a certain salary, we need to look hot in our jeans, we need to be comfortable.

 This trip to Nicaragua has impacted me more deeply and on more levels than I could have anticipated. I get emotional looking at all of the blessings He has provided me, and also at how they are not truly needed for joy or life. The second day back in the country, I cried at how clean this city is, how it smells good here, how I have a car to drive and nice clothes to wear.

More than ever, I realize that everything we are given is sheer grace. I did not do anything to deserve the loving family I was raised in, the job I have, the friends He has placed in my life, the amazing people who speak truth into my life on the regular, my health and safety . . . I could go on and on. I am so grateful for all of these things, but I realize more how much God is all we truly need. The people in Nicaragua are in such dire circumstances, and words cannot describe the struggles that they face every day. Yet, God is working over there - they have such a deep relationship with Him, and I think that they experience deeper joy than we do over here.

"In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich."
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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