Last night, I did not blog... on purpose.
Throughout the day yesterday I could sense the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart to spend some time devoted to the Lord. In my fleshly nature, I ignored it and kept staring at whatever screen I was staring at at the time. By the time I finished running, showering, and eating dinner it was already past nine o'clock.
I have to blog! I thought.
And then it struck me- I have been so adamant about blogging daily. Posting something- anything- was required before I close my eyes for the night. How have I so successfully made that a requirement and not prayer? Why isn't it my daily goal to spend time in the presence of God?
Here is what I meditated on last night:
"...But God's word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
if we are faithless,
he will remain faithful,
for he cannot disown himself."
-2 Timothy 2:9b-13
I love how Paul writes about being obedient for the wealthy/elect. Being burdened for the wealthy is something I have carried long before God broke my heart for the poor. It always seemed wrong, though, since the church always talks about the poor and needy. It's nice to have Paul's affirmation. With what we have, we could do so much. I would love to inspire capitalism to be of greater use for all... for the sake of the gospel and in a way that doesn't make the rich man poor, but also doesn't keep the poor man impoverished.
Does that sound too ideal? Perhaps. But if I can study in college how others have already done it than it is obviously attainable.
As I tell you the other way the Lord burdened me, I have to confess something: my heart has been calloused. All these years surrounded by Christian hipsters has made me pretty insensitive to the needs of Africa. I know that sounds silly, but my entire college career was surrounded by everyone and their moms who went to Africa or are going to aid Africa in some way shape or form. Even my internship was with a non-profit who supports local leaders in Uganda and Kenya to help end extreme poverty. (The internship/organization was/is great, for the record!)
Frankly, I got tired of it! My thoughts have been: what about the rest of the world? There are so many other nations with corruption, war, poverty, trafficking, starvation, water problems, AIDS, genocide, and the like! How come Africa gets all the attention?
I know Africa is the poorest continent in the world and that is probably why everyone jumped on the bandwagon. This is just me explaining my hardness toward hipsters and decades of commercials on television with the sad, sad music and somber voice asking you to give them your money. Anyway...
I listened to a radio show this morning that interviewed Kimberly Smith. She is the author of Passport Through Darkness. (FB users)
Kimberly told her story about starting Make Way Partners with her husband, Milton. Hearing about her journeys in Sudan, her marriage and personal struggle, and her heart for these children pierced through the callous in mine. This blog post describes many Sudanese children, the struggles of local orphanages, and the normalcy of child sex trafficking. Do be sure to read its entirety here.
Father, keep our hearts tender toward the things that make You cry. See if there is any offensive way in us, reveal it to us, and correct us, Lord. You are the Lord, our Great Teacher.
In Jesus' name,