Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Where I belong...

Every once-in-a-while I hear someone say, God has put you right where He wants you to be.  I have to admit, while I do believe this statement, I sometimes struggle with internalizing all that it means. 

First, before I get too far I need to explain that statement. When I look at the statement, I believe it means we have been born into a place where God can use us.  Sometimes, He will ask us to move, and we do have free will to go against that.  What I am saying is that God has a way of working us to a place where we can rely on Him.  Sometimes, that comes from a hard circumstance or event in our life and sometimes it comes from our upbringing or anywhere in-between. 

The other side of that coin is that when we begin to walk with Christ and have a real relationship, He has a way of working us into the place that He wants us to be.  For instance, while I believe God has called me to ministry, I struggle with putting the "ministry" before my relationship.  I do much better when I am not so focused on doing all the "right" things and am actually able to focus on my relationship with Him and truly have time to develop relationships with others.  (Which is where ministry actually takes place anyway)

I would have to say the real reason I struggle with truly believing this whole idea most of the time, has nothing to do with not wanting to be where I am.  The hard part for me is dealing with the fact that I am immersed in a culture that is so focused on what we don't have when in reality we have so much.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in that mindset and constantly want more when so many all over the world have so much less than we could even imagine. 

Now, to me, I have a lot of stuff.  God has surely blessed me, and I believe God has done it for a reason and as I walk with Him, He will reveal how I am to use what He has given me.  On the other hand, I wrestle with the fact that some have so very little and many have nothing to eat.  What makes me so different from those people? 

My wife shared a quote with me the other day by Mother Teresa, it read.
The spiritual poverty of the Western World is much greater than the physical poverty of our people. You, in the West, have millions of people who suffer such terrible loneliness and emptiness. They feel unloved and unwanted.
These people are not hungry in the physical sense, but they are in another way. They know they need something more than money, yet they don’t know what it is. What they are missing, really, is a living relationship with God.

 That statement made perfect sense to me.  It resonates with me.  It speaks to what God has been teaching me.  While feeding people and taking care of their physical needs is important, the need for people to feel loved, cared for, and wanted is a real need. If we can truly meet those needs, then we can introduce them to Christ. This is where I am able to understand that statement.  God put me where I am because He has taught me how to love people, how to care about people, how to make people feel wanted.  I am where He wants me to be.  I am in a place that He has prepared for me. 

Sometimes it just takes a change in the way we view things to really wrap our heads around why God has put us where we are.

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20 NIV

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