Thursday, June 02, 2011

Straight to My Heart

The following is an excerpt from an e-mail I wrote to a friend earlier this week:
This morning we saw the "perfect" house, one which had just about everything we hoped for and Christian owners who were praying for Christian buyers to boot. However, they already had an offer they would be accepting at noon today unless we could move immediately, which of course we couldn't. I came home disappointed and soon after visited the blog of two sisters who I believe are carrying out one of the most Christ-centered, selfless ministries in all of Haiti truly to "the least of these."

Their post (http://www.realhopeforhaiti.org/?p=3955) about the current situation in their cholera house brought me to tears and reminded me that owning a house is not a "need" - saving lives both physical and spiritually is a NEED. What they are doing in Haiti is a NEED ...

As if that weren't enough the next post I read was this one: http://networkedblogs.com/ixzs1

I guess God thought it might take TWO 2x4's to hit me and help me bow my heart and say, "I get it, Lord!"
The first blog I referenced is that of Real Hope for Haiti. Sisters Licia and Lori, their husbands and their father Davis Zachary (their mother Gretchen died in 2005) serve diligently and faithfully in Cazale, Haiti where they daily face staggering life-and-death physical and spiritual needs. Their ministry is multifaceted and one aspect of it is a cholera house that is currently filled beyond capacity. Many of those suffering from the sickness are children and as of two days ago the clinic was out of diapers and clean gowns and other vital items. I cannot fathom facing these issues in a first-world country, much less in Haiti where soiled linens must be washed by hand and the heat is oppressive and in this instance, there are twice as many patients as there are cots to hold them.

Yet the faith and fortitude of this family convicts and moves me. In the face of overwhelming odds they simply continue to step forward and trust God to provide, and He does. On Monday they needed $4500 to staff the cholera house for one month. They had not a cent of this, but hired workers anyway. They trusted God for it. On Tuesday, they were offered a matching grant of $2000. And by Wednesday, God had provided $15, 370 for the cholera need (through gifts from 47 individuals, one organization and one church.) To God be the glory!

You may be wondering, how in the world does all this relate to buying a house? Well, that leads me to the second post I mentioned to my friend. In a post entitled "The Opulent Ability to Give," the author (who is currently on a Compassion trip to the Philippines) writes:
I thought I lived in a small house. There are five of us, and currently we share about 1,100 square feet. We’re pretty maxed on space, and we don’t have needless stuff. What we have, we use, and our three kids share a room. We’re looking forward to moving out in a few weeks and hopefully enjoying one extra bedroom.

But we don’t live in ONE. ROOM. total.
She then goes on the describe the living conditions of their sponsored child Denise and her family. I encourage you to read the entire post. It is an encouragement to be thankful for what we have, and to rejoice in the ability to give when we can. It is a reminder that in comparison to vast numbers of people in the world, we are so incredibly blessed.

For me personally, it was a wake up call to the things that really matter. Owning a house would be really nice. I would still love to see it happen. But in light of eternity, what is most important? It's not the number of bedrooms or the square feet, but the people who live in them. And if worrying and wondering about a house ties up my time and energy and finances so I am unable to give to others, what have I truly gained?

I don't have all the answers to these and other questions. But I do know this, that God spoke straight to my heart in the midst of my feelings of self-pity and reminded me that I need to take my eyes off myself and take a look around me instead. There is much to be done, and I for one don't want to miss the chance to take part in His plan - for Iquique ... for Haiti ... for the world.

"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?
Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
"
-Matthew 16:26 (NASB)

3 comments:

Tina said...

Perfect timing on your blog. I'm in the middle of house hunting right now and have been praying the Lord would show us the house he wants us to have. It's so easy to get caught up in the wants instead of the needs. Do I really need that many sq.ft. or that larger yard or that extra bedroom? Pray we'll be sensitive to His voice.

Tina said...

Perfect timing on your blog. I'm in the middle of house hunting right now and have been praying the Lord would show us the house he wants us to have. It's so easy to get caught up in the wants instead of the needs. Do I really need that many sq.ft. or that larger yard or that extra bedroom? Pray we'll be sensitive to His voice.

Twinsplusthree said...

"It's not the number of bedrooms or the square feet, but the people who live in them"...what an awesome reminder to invest our time in helping our kids grow into Godly individuals and not necessarily doing the next load of laundry or whatever is next on the list. Great post!