Saturday, January 16, 2010

what I can't live without

We have been doing MAJOR re-organizing at our house....thus the blog hiatus.  We've been decluttering, downsizing, simplifying, and pitching as we go through all the "stuff" we have in all the nooks and crannies of our house.  There aren't alot of them, as we have transformed most of our storage space into bedrooms to accomodate all of our children having their own rooms....which we thought was really necessary for their sanity (and ours!) when we got married and moved our families together into one home.  Turns out we were right.  This has proven to be a good choice for a number of reasons.  The kids really do appreciate having their own rooms, their own space to individualize and escape from eachother once in a while.  And in being forced to store our "stuff" in much less space than we were used to before has turned out to be a huge blessing.  We've needed to go through absolutely everything we own and prioritize what is really important to us, what we can live without and what we can't. 

In the wake of what has happened recently in Haiti, "what we can't live without" has taken on a new meaning for me.  When I look around our home at all of our "stuff" I can't help but feel guilty.  Do you ever struggle with that?  I do.  We have so much.  So much more than we need...more than so many people on this planet do.  And we are spoiled.  Really, we are.  We are the ones that Jesus was talking about when he said that it will be hard for the rich to enter Heaven.  I am rich.  And so are you.  We are so blessed we can't see straight...we can't see our need for God.  We aren't desperate enough.  We aren't in that place where we are wondering every single day how we will obtain the necessities of life for ourselves and our children...where we have no other choice but to completely rely on faith to make it.  Many of us can make it just fine on our own...or so we think. 

That's the big lie...that we are fine.  That we don't need God.  Alot of us know we need Him for salvation, but in the day to days of life we just aren't desperate enough.  Or maybe it's just me.  Sure, sometimes I'm desperate.  Everyone is desperate in a crisis.  But on a day to day basis, if I allow myself to be distracted I begin to get out of focus, and before I know it far too many days have gone by without hitting my knees and crying out to God with the kind of desperation that my life depends on.

But one of the awesomest (and scariest) things about God is that He's not ok with leaving us in that place where we think we are fine.  He loves us enough that He wants us to be desperate for Him.  Because He knows that He is the One sustaining us.  He is the One - the only One - who has what we need.  And He never wants us to forget it.

It is a strange feeling to talk with someone who knows she is dying.  That's what I did tonight, and several other nights, with my friend Lori who is dying of cancer.  She was diagnosed only 3 months ago and is already in the final stages. It is an aggressive, ugly cancer. I suppose all cancer is ugly. I've just never seen it up close like this before. To look into the face of someone who knows that she will not see her next birthday...who may not see next week...who is still very much alive and doesn't want to leave those she loves, it changes your perspective on things.

I've sat with her and held her hand.  And hugged her husband as he cried.  They know what it's like to be desperate.  They are living in that place right by day, moment by moment.  It has changed their perspective on what is truly important in life, and mine too. 

So tonight I will hit my knees, and cry out to God to help me see what is truly important.  To let things go, to pitch what is unnecessary and distracting in my life, to take my eyes off my circumstances and put them where they belong...on Jesus...without whom we have no life at all.

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