I know when I pray God may not answer according to my desires, but always for my good. Then there are other times, I realize as I pray the answer may cause some growing and discomfort. I sit now feeling a bit more at ease. Earlier was another story. God humbled me and shook me awake from a stupor I have been in too long.
I look around my home and am ashamed. I have too many possessions. These things have sentimental value or are simply pretty. Needless to say, I like cute little things. However, the harsh reality is someday they will burn up and all that will be left is ash. That's fine because the items' inherent value is nonexistent and I am left today with clutter. If they burn tomorrow I will still be rich because I have my Lord at my side and salvation in Him. There isn't a greater gift than that.
It began about two to three years ago when I began to ask the Lord for guidance. I felt I was controlled not by the things themselves necessarily, but by the desire to buy things I did not need. Slowly, but surely, I have been convicted here and there as I go to purchase an item and end up leaving it at the store. The Spirit whispers, "You don't need that," or something similar. Yet, I am still surrounded by worthless, earthly treasure knowing my real treasure is in God's kingdom.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving as I am sitting at my in-laws' with my appetite satiated watching the news in their warm living room surrounded by family. I almost couldn't stand to watch. News reports of people serving dinner to the homeless and needy in the streets of Los Angeles, a woman praising their efforts in gratitude for a warm meal, a child displaying the meager contents of his family's refrigerator - all of these raising my barometric pressure. I wanted to explode in fury, in disbelief. An internal storm had been born. This can't be in America. Why am I so blind and negligent of my neighbors? Why couldn't I just jump in my car or beam myself down to the shelters and help serve? There I was warm, comfortable and wanting to be out helping with strangers, or rather my neighbors.
Naivete, injustice and disgust pulsated through every minute vein. It truly infuriates me, yet I still haven't acted upon it. I keep wondering where God wants me. Bill Hybel in Holy Discontent poses the question to the reader: What makes you tick? What stirs you up to the point of anger? Well, I have found my discontent. One in five children in the grand United States go to bed hungry. What? Why? This staggering statistic drives me nuts.
I have been blessed with so much. God never intended me to hoard it. I could certainly allow God to bless others with what He has lent me. Is it not all for His glory? Not my comfort. We have donated clothing and items to a resource center around our area, but discontent fills me. It's not enough. I need to be actively doing something about this.
Last night, my husband asked what I wanted for Christmas. Sure, there are things I want. But, for what purpose. They will fill me with a moment's pleasure and then the item will collect dust. So, I tried to read a book and relax for a few minutes today. Like I said, I tried. The Spirit didn't whisper, but seemed to shout, "Look around. You don't need anything." This year I am giving instead. I'm not trying to earn praises for myself. I love how God has taken two to three years to answer my prayer in His timing. The money my husband was going to use for me is going to be donated to a foreign mission, while the Salvation Army will be receiving some things for the people around here.
All I know is that is barely a start, a drop in a very large bucket. I am grateful my Lord is patient. I cannot wait to see how God continues to sanctify me in this process called life. As this is God's doing, I am sure this is only the beginning of something beautiful. Until He comes what ever we can do will never be enough, but at least it shows people a glimpse into God's kingdom. Merry Christmas and Many Blessings to All!