Nothing in me ever wanted to run a marathon. I'm a fitness professional and coach, but I still don't enjoy running. I'll box all day and burpee until the sun comes up, but run? Nah, thanks I'm good. Yet, here I am... running a marathon. I briefly mentioned before about Team World Vision, but the real reason I even want to be apart of TWV is a completely different story:
In June of 2016, I went to Haiti and I fell in love. I loved the people, the language, the culture, the environment; the list goes on. But upon my return home to the US, I instantly felt sick. I was sick of the way the Western world I was born into threw around money like confetti. You may not realize it, but in comparing the material abundance of Americans to that of many Haitians the difference was a landslide. "How did we grow so disgustingly ignorant to the basic human needs of half of the population of the world", I thought to myself. And unfortunately, I still have no just response to that question. In addition to the overwhelming negligence in currency circulation, there was a particular white elephant in the room of the United States that made me even more sick. It was the rising worship of the 'god of self' coupled with both intentional and covert attempts to exclude the one true God from our lives. And having just been in an area of minimal material wealth, my fresh eyes saw that as clear as day.
I grew sicker knowing that the privilege and luxury I had, I did nothing to earn or deserve. I was born into the comfortably excessive Western culture only by the providence and sovereignty of God. We have been immensely, abundantly provided for more than we actually even deserve. So Why, God? Why, put me here with all this excessive mess when you know my heart aches to serve my brothers and sisters struggling to find clean water or survive past the age of 5.
because... To whom much is given, much is required.
An allegorical Word spoken by Jesus in Luke chapter 12. And also the Word of the Lord that jumped into my spirit with a reverberating volume as I sweat my socks off in a tiny Haitian church my first day in Port Au Prince. The pastor didn't actually say this Word, he wasn't even teaching on this parable, and I honestly never knew it was Scripture until I googled it later. It was just something I heard spoken. It was the Holy Spirit piercing me with an answer to my question when I asked why He'd even bring me on this trip.
I've been given a lot. And that's coming from a Midwest family wavering around the 'poverty line' who struggled to pay the bills, keep 4 kids in school, and food on the table. Even then, in our 'poverty' we had way more than enough... and we still do. I can confidently say I hate that I see the circulation of money for some of the most unnecessary and rather foolish things in my nation. It's as if our bank statements concur that we definitely do value ourselves more than others. I don't mean to say God didn't intend for us to live abundant lives, because He did! Jesus gave His life that we might have life and life abundantly (John 10:10). But allow me to go on an exegetical whim and say by abundant life, is it not eternal life with Him that He is referring to. Or do we think He truly meant that He came for the Maserati and the successful business we'd own? (I'll let you compare the value of the two, if you can even find a way to compare them). Back on track though, as lovers of God and followers of Jesus, we know our reward is not on Earth, but in Heaven. So when Jesus said "to whom much is given much is required" I think it's safe to say He is warning us about stewardship of our blessings for the right now.
Friends, I know many of you have not personally seen the distress that billions of people are in right now, but that in itself is your privilege. The fact that you can ignore the global suffering is proof of your privilege alive and active. I don't mean in any way to make you sorrowful for the favor you were given. Please, do rejoice in your blessing! But know that you were given it for a reason. And the reason is far greater than just you.
The number one question I get asked from non-believers is why does God allow such suffering. Well, quite honestly, I have to say because we allow it. God has already overcome evil, yet He still honors our freedom to do what we will with the lives He gave us. Our freewill gives us the opportunity to authentically choose to truly love Him or not. All the while, we do have an enemy on mission to dissuade us from walking in the love of Christ that is already ours. However threatening our enemy can be, God has given us every tool for freedom in every circumstance. He even sent a human example to show us how to use them. But we ignore Him and leave the tools to collect dust on our bookshelves. We choose self over others. And we can't quite seem to figure out that the tools we need are scattered throughout the hands of our brothers.. Our brothers squatting in collapsed buildings in Haiti, our brothers from Latin America being blocked from opportunity in the States, our brothers being victims of war in the Middle East, our brothers of color being persecuted in our own backyards, and our brothers in South Africa dying at 5 years old from disease and undernourishment because they have no. clean. water. and remain without an advocate.
Please. Pick up your tools and use them. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. Don't lose heart, He has overcome and the best is yet to come.
I praise the Lord for the provision He granted in your life. I praise Him that He looked at you and said, "yepp, he/she will do the right things with their blessings". I know He was right. But are we still waiting for you.
"A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38
I love you. Thank you.
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World Vision provides more clean water than any nongovernment organization in the world. They work with communities around the world to help solve the puzzle of poverty -- providing things like clean water, nutritious food, education, medical care, economic opportunity, and spiritual development.