Sometimes there is so much discontentment in me I find it disgusting. And I feel like what I let you see, anyone see who sees my life, is the exterior where I pretend to be content and thankful and happy. But beneath the surface, I am less than who I want to be in Jesus.
We just moved into a new place. Our previous place was developing damp and mold and the smell at night was starting to get nauseating. (Remember, Iâ€™m pregnant.) It never got any sunshine and it just stayed cold. But if Iâ€™m honest, it was six gabillion times nicer than the average dwelling where many South African lay their heads at night.
Now weâ€™re in a nicer place, and though weâ€™re paying significantly less than what itâ€™s worth, and I feel privileged to have the extra space and a little grass for the Bear to play on, and I am overjoyed that the sun is streaming in and weâ€™re no longer cold and damp, there is also a part of me that wishes weâ€™d found a cheaper place to live, in fact a really cheap place to live, so that we could give more away. Safety and security are priorities in this country. They are costly priorities that only some people can enjoy.
I’m slowly rounding the corner on a year since I last bought myself an article of clothing, and this exercise has been a powerful one. But our move into a new and unfurnished place has brought out the discontentment struggle in me again. There are so many little things we â€œneedâ€ — things that will make life more convenient and easier. But if we have a roof over our heads and food in our tummies, we already have so much to be thankful for and so little to be discontent about.
The thing about poverty is that as much as you might picture dirt, despair, and lack, poverty is a mirror into your own soul. Itâ€™s a window through which you might begin to recognise your privileges, and all you have to be thankful for, if youâ€™re willing. And when you hear a person in poverty say they are well, and not afraid, because they have Jesus, and Jesus is enough, the reflection shows you your own inadequacy. Your little faith. Your inability to be content and at peace when life isnâ€™t going your way because someone has cut you off in traffic or youâ€™re waiting longer than you should at the doctorâ€™s office.
You forget that having your own transportation is a luxury 90% of the world canâ€™t afford.
You forget that health care is a luxury that billions of people will never experience.
So today, in an attempt at honesty, Iâ€™m trying to show you a different side of the missionary experience. Thereâ€™s the joy of being a blessing to people in need, and the challenge of recognising that you are sometimes the really needy one. There is the joy of knowing you’re at least getting some things right. There is the challenge of hungering for a soul that says Jesus is Enough, and means it.
I struggle with my privileges every day.
But I think this hunger and thirst Iâ€™m feeling is exactly what Jesus had in mind.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.”