Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My hope comes from Him

My life is filled with beauty and I have so many excelent things in my life.I have my son. He is the light of my life, my biggest joy, my true reason to be thankful.I live in a beautiful house. It is not mine but it has tall rooms and ceramic tile floors that are really important in the heat.I have running water and electricity. There is even internet at my house.I have clothes and shoes that I can even combine with each other.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33 (New International Version)

Two things that really have brought me joy and made me thankful are my camera and the iPad my parents gave me for Christmas last year. I love taking pictures and showing everyone what the life here in Ecuador is and who the people are. I also love reading but it has been so hard to find books here. In Tena there isn't even a one bookstore. In Quito there are few but the books are expensive and usually it takes time before a book appears in Ecuador.Now I can download any book I want. And since most books can be found in electronic form, I truly can download any book I want.There is another reason why this has made me thankful.I don't need big bookcases that fill my small house anymore. No more clutter, no more dust, no more insects running around, eating paper and hiding behind the books.

PSALM 62:5-7 “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God;” (NIV)
In Matthew 6:33 we are told to seek first God's kingdom and his righteousness and then we are going to be given "all these things". What are "all these things"?
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:25-34
New International Version (NIV)

It seems that all these things are what I am thankfull of. Should I feel bad, be anxious? Is it a sin to enjoy "earthly things"?

"Most laws condemn the soul and pronounce sentence. The result of the law of my God is perfect. It condemns but forgives. It restores - more than abundantly - what it takes away.” - Jim Elliot
Jesus tells us not to worry about our food, drink or clothes but about our immortal soul. It is true, we can spend a lifetime running after finer food, drink and clothing, or any other mean to show our status. Maybe a bigger house or an expensive car?

Jesus also tells us that God knows that we need these things. We just shouldn't spend our time worrying about them, or about tomorrow. If we seek God and his kingdom, we shall have all this. And this is the reason to be thankful of everything I have. Because all that I have, I have because of Him.

PSALM 62:8 “Trust in him at all times, O people. Pour out your heart before him. God is a refuge for us. Selah.”

I am thankful because He has given me these things. He has given me the opportunity to work for Him, to do His work. A work that I truly love and enjoy every day. A work that brings me hope and brings hope to other people also.

He has given me an opportunity to live in a country that I love, with people that I love, doing what I love and even having things that I love. Like my iPad and my books and my camera. At the same time I walk on a tight rope, so that I would not love the things but the opportunities they give me and the possibilities to do God's work with them.

PSALM 62:5-7 “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God;” (NIV)
I think we should be thankful for what we have. Or else we would be proud and vain. But we should first be thankful to the one that has given us all this and made it possible to have good things in life. This is not a new thought, it can be found in the Bible and excessively large group of people have said it before and better. But it still is true.

As it is true that too many people care about the "eartly things" and not about the giver. Sometimes we're just too busy muching away the popsicle when there's a whole lake of chocolate waiting.

“[God] is not proud...He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him.”-- C.S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain
I'm thankful God is not proud and He will have me, as imperfect as I am. Even when I forget to thank Him for the good things that I have. Even when I think that the good things come from me.

And there are still so many good things to be thankful of. Like my parents and my siblings. My sisters family. My aunts and uncles, my grandmother, my cousins... God has blessed me with a family that loves and cares, people that, even thought they are imperfect, have been there for me and made my life more complete.

I am thankful for my education and for my experiences, even thought many have been painful, because they make me who I am.

But most of all, I am thankfull for God's grace, love and forgiveness.

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

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