I own a decent house, in a nice suburb of Chicago. I walk to work, so I am able to place my daughter on the bus each morning before I mosey to the office. I have a great job, where I get to be challenged intellectually and work with a group of people I genuinely like a lot! I have an amazing employer, who uses his resources in AMAZING ways to build the Kingdom of God. I have great friends, a home church, and a wonderful extended family. We are financially comfortable and within reaching distance of being debt free (other than the house).
My life is near perfect. So I had to wonder to myself, why I resonated with James 1:2 -"Consider it pure joy my brothers when you face trials of many kind." After all, I live a fairly trial free life. I have no challenge to make ends meet, no challenge in my relationships. and no health issues looming over my head.
So, to be most honest I must confess it was all the physical things like the house, the job, and the financial security, that came to the forefront of my mind. These comforts, which I have deep gratitude for, feel like a wall between myself and my relationship with God. My trial is being on hand to the Kingdom in the midst of all these comforts. I need to be free to be at hand for obedience to God.
When we do something out of obedience to the Lord, there can be no other explanation-just obedience. That is why a saint can be so easily ridiculed and misunderstood.- Oswald ChambersEven amazing Godly people whom I love have ask me
- "Are you concerned about your kids education?"
- "Are you being financially wise for your family?"
- "Is the 3rd world a healthy place to raise kids?"
- "Why do you need to be so radical?"
The whole first chapter of James deals with this. The wisdom of God is in James 1:22 - "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. DO WHAT IT SAYS!" I am thankful for this trial which is calling me to side step the wall, and instead choose the window that leads to obedience. Here Am I Lord, Send Me!