God knows me so intimately! He knows exactly what I need--even if it hurts. And I don't mean a little ouch, I mean a BIG, FAT, OUCH!!!
Let me explain.
A church in our community had the Compassion Experience available to tour. (On a side note: Go, if you get the chance--it is well worth the visit.) A friend from high school was volunteering at it yesterday and sent me the link. I had planned to go, but I guess I needed that little nudge. So I made reservations, and as a bonus--we got to see each other and do a little catching up.
As we were listening to the stories of Brinda from India, Julian from Kampala, Uganda, and Reuben from Bolivia, I was reminded--those children could have been my girls. My heart just about broke. It's so easy to forget that my girls could be facing what each of these children face on a daily basis. Reality sets in when you see the truth in front of your eyes. There are literally millions of children who do not have food, clothing, or shelter which are the basics. They also aren't getting medicine, education or clean water. And--while that stings--if you have any kind of compassion--that stings, that's not what not knocked me to my knees.
No, that came this morning. It's no coincidence that the Bible Study I am doing at this moment, has been delayed and postponed many times so that today would be lined up perfectly with my visit to Compassion yesterday.
Here's my verses that we studied today . . .
James 5: 1-6 NLT "Look here, you rich people, weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. Your gold and silver have become worthless. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh in hell. This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you on the day of judgment. For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The wages you held back cry out against you. The cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every whim. Now your hearts are nice and fat, ready for the slaughter. You have killed good people who had no power to defend themselves against you."
Oh My GOODNESS! This smacked me right between the eyes. Cause if I'm keeping it real here--I have probably just lived one of the most luxurious years of my 44 years. I took 5--yes, 5 vacations this year. AND I could sit here and justify a couple of them, but I will not. Because all in all, I may not be the person described as failing to pay others what I owe, but I am the person living the good life and living it well.
You know what hurts even more? I KNOW BETTER!!!
I have traveled to third world countries and seen first hand the life of poverty others live. I have sat in homes with precious people who love Jesus, but have no earthly riches. I have held and loved on little orphan babies who may never be adopted into families. I KNOW BETTER!!!
Lord, Forgive Me! Forgive me for knowing the truth, and not taking it seriously. Forgive me for not staying grounded in you.
I don't want to be that person.
I want to be the person who is satisfied with what I already have. The woman that freely gives to others, without thinking of that new ________________(fill in the blank).
So what do I do from here? I will wrestle with this for a while. I don't have an easy answer. I think this will take time for me to figure out exactly what God would have me to change.
This I do know--at the end of 2014--I want to be able to have given to others more lavishly then I will have spent on myself.
May I be reminded of this daily.