Saturday, June 19, 2010

Don't worry. Be happy.

It's the summer break. The kids are having fun...and so is their teacher! But even though there is no school, Miss Estelle is still learning.

Lesson #1:

My life is comfortable. It is easy. I have a family who love me. I have good friends. I have everything I need and more. But I still want more. Somehow I think it will make my life more comfortable. More easy. And then I worry when I don't get it. And then I get impatient. Last night I started reading Francis Chan's Crazy Love. His words spoke to me:

"Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives.

Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control.

Basically, these two behaviours communicate that the it's okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance. They declare our tendency to forget that we've been forgiven, that our lives here are brief, that we are headed to a place where we won't be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again, and in the context of God's strength, our problems are small, indeed."

Lesson #2:

I found this five-minute clip filmed by ITV Tyne Tees last year when the AFM was docked in Benin. I look at the patients and their families who come to our ship. Their lives are a complete contrast to mine. Their life is not comfortable. It is not easy. Some of them have been abandoned by their family and friends. Many of them have very little. But they smile through the struggle. And they are grateful for what they have.

Lesson #3:

This afternoon I was having a chat with my friend Kelly who visited a local church. She was telling me how the pastor was sharing that God had called him to live in this place (a village we call the fishing village). Sometimes he wishes for rain in the desert but he is at peace because this is where God has placed him. Kelly told me about some shocking realities of his life. It was humbling to hear. And convicting.

This is what I have learnt from the weekends lessons. In the words of Francis Chan:

"Frankly, you need to get over yourself. It might sound harsh, but that's seriously what it means.

Maybe life's pretty good for you right now. God has given you this good stuff so that you can show the world a person who enjoys blessings, but who is still totally obsessed with God.

Or maybe life is tough right now, and everything feels like a struggle. God has allowed hard things in your life so you can show the world that your God is great and that knowing Him brings peace and joy, even when life is hard...It is easy to become disillusioned with the circumstances of our lives compared to others'. But in the presence of God, He gives us a deeper peace and joy that transcends it all."

In a nutshell: Don't worry. Be happy. :)

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