"If it aint true for a single mom in Haiti, then it's not true for you."
Lately, I've been really challenged in my faith in the whole world view of things. Hashtag blessed has taken a whole new meaning. I've really looked at things from the WORLD and not my extremely white, American culture. I'm not blind to the fact that because of where I just so happened to be born, certain things happened to me, and somehow that means that God has more favor on me? That just shakes me the wrong way, and it's just not the case. Do I think that there is hate & discrimination in our culture and I don't even grace the topic of it because I just simply know in every way that I don't understand. No matter how hard I would try to understand, my viewpoints are different because of the very fact of where I was and the color of my skin and the opportunities that I've been given.
It's hard for us to wrap our minds around these things when we look at the starvation and poverty of our cities and around the world. It makes us wonder where is God in most all of it, and even in our own culture, but I don't want to get into the depths of that today. It's too deep, and I might flounder in explaining how I feel about that in a poor way.
First, I am a fitness and health coach and a blogger. I want everyone to know how I feel and how faith has changed my life. I'd love for it to change others as well, and I want to be able to show Christ's light in my life, but I never ever want to come across as demeaning or trying to convert someone or trying to make us feel guilty about our world that we are in (not that you would from my little ole blog but just clarifying).
If you get a job and you start making really good money, you probably would say "Yes I'm so blessed. The Lord has been so good to me" if you were an American Christian and that would be true, but again, what does that say about the gospel? Does that mean that the person that you beat out of the job is not as favored as you? Or does that mean that there is something better in store for the person that you beat out at the job interview? What if that person at the job interview thinks "Okay, the Lord is going to move me into something greater and better and THATS why I didn't get the job" so they move on, get another job, and it's awful...absolutely horrible and your job is still fantastic. Does that mean that the Lord favored you more because their job sucks day in and out?
I got married early. I have a really amazingly sweet and loyal (and attractive ow ow) husband. Does that mean the Lord has more favor over my single friends? Does that make my single friends mad at God?...maybe at times. Does that mean that the lady who is struggling in domestic violence is not favored by God?
"GIVE TO THE LORD AND YOU WILL BE ABUNDANTLY REWARDED!!!" It's like I can hear pastors saying this, and it makes me feel so weird. It's not that I don't think that you will be blessed and favored in life, but that's just not how it works because if it was, then what about all these other cases?
Could it be that you just didn't get the job because the company just simply picked the other person? If you get a really sucky job after your dream job is ripped out from under you, are you still going to be living for him?
I think that's the point that I want to make. You are not abundantly blessed because of the clothes that you have, but because of the live that you live in Christ. You are abundantly blessed no matter your circumstances. Circumstances does not equal gospel. Your wealth and prosperity has nothing to do with blessings from the Lord. In all things, we praise him and not just when we land the job and we don't praise him because we didn't get the job in anticipation of the next job that we think is going to be even better.
When you live your life in Him, those things fade into the background. They just simply don't matter as much anymore. To say that they don't matter at all is a lie because we are way too engrained with these cultural standards, but it starts to be just a passing thought. The amount of burden and anxiety lifted is unreal. So why pray then right? The Shack explains this so well in that praying is like when I play with Jackson. It's not that I don't already know how to color or read simple books but we bring ourselves to the level of a child because we love them. That's how Jesus feels about us. He lowers himself so that we are able to experience Him fully. That's why we needed Jesus...to show us the human form of Christ.
I've caught myself so much lately realizing the reality that if God is real then we have to face the hard questions of the people all around us who aren't even close to as fortunate, and what does that mean? For me, that just simply means doing the best that I can to bring it all back to him in the good, bad, and ugly. As one pastor said at the death of one of my very good friends from high school, everything doesn't happen for a reason as that's just too painful to think about, but we can find reason in everything moving forward.