Monday, January 18, 2010

...on realising i can't be God...

Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon myself and one or two of my teammates go to the home of a refugee family. On Thursdays we take them some food that we get from helping a local church with a feeding ministry. A couple of weeks ago when we went we only had with us a few bananas, some potatoes, and a loaf of bread. When we gave it to them the mother said that she was so thankful because she was very hungry and they had no food left in the house. They literally had nothing besides what we brought to them. I almost cried right then in their living room. We brought them to our house for dinner that night and afterwards gave them all our leftovers. The next week we again took them food. I glanced in their refrigerator as they were putting it away and saw that all they had was a gallon of milk and a few onions.

My heart breaks for them.

The mother told me she has no more food stamps. I thought certainly I must have misunderstood her. Maybe she meant she was out of money for the month? But it was the beginning of January. It couldn't be that her family doesn't qualify for food stamps. In the past she had had to sell her food stamps in order to have money to pay her rent. But she has a job now and shouldn't have to do that. I mentioned this to some of my teammates and one of them did some research on the food stamp system in Houston. He found that it is terrible. I don't completely understand it but I know that it is not adequate to provide for everyone who needs it. People end up falling through the cracks while others understand and abuse the system. It isn't right. It's an injustice. And it makes me angry. This mother and her five children go hungry while others abuse the system and end up having more than they need.

I want to fix it. I want to make it right. Unfortunately, I cannot be God.

Fortunately, God is bigger than I am. God's love is deeper than I can fathom. God's grace flows freely. God holds us in the palm of His hand. God provides for His children.

I once read that ministry is often more about the one ministering than those to whom they are ministering. I've come to believe this is true. I think that Mission Year is more about God changing and transforming me than it is about me doing good things and serving others. Let me explain. God does not need me. If I had not taken food to the refugee family that Thursday, I am confident that God would have provided them with the food they needed in some other way. God cares about them more than I do. God did not need me to do Mission Year, I needed to do Mission Year. I needed to be in this place where I can allow God to change my perspective, to soften my heart, to smooth some of my rough areas, to transform me more into the person He created me to be, to draw me closer to Him.

Everything always comes down to our relationship with God and others. What He wants is for us to love Him and to allow Him to love us, to understand that He accepts us and to accept ourselves. What we do is the overflow of our relationship with Him.

Does any of this make sense? Maybe not. God doesn't make sense. I don't understand Him or His ways. That is why I can worship Him and that is why I am deeply in love with Him and want to go deeper and deeper.

Please keep the family I mentioned in your prayers. They are constantly on my mind and on my heart.

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