Lately, I've been overwhelmed by my over abundance! I am admittedly, an empathetic, heart on her sleeve, emotional woman. It's an aspect of my personality that I equally love and hate. I love that I can go there with people in ministry and feel what they feel. The other side of that coin is becoming so invested that I become debilitated by the cruelty exposed in the life experiences happening around me, something only magnified by the small world afforded to me with social media. Videos depicting the plight of countless refugees, Christians and other humans tortured at the hand of ISIS, innocent people murdered as a result of someone's fame obsession and young girls sold into sex trade to satisfy the perversions of sick individuals have all left me asking some hard questions.
Its hard to stomach the vast array of life occurrences that are experienced by individuals all equally loved by the same Savior. My routine drive through the Starbucks line and quandary over getting the right hair products can seem vapid in light of the simultaneous struggle happening in the lives of those experiencing persecution and abuse. Who am I to belly ache about my poor service from my home warranty when I have a home!
My life has it's struggles and I don't want to diminish the challenges so many in Western countries face with disease, divorce, addictions, abuse, familial loss and the like, but truthfully my everyday routine is free from danger and oppression. That fact alone has illuminated a truly humbling perspective. As I have taken all this to God, I've discovered some clarifying tenants to my outlook.
I had nothing to do with the circumstances I was born into; I can take no credit for when and where I came into existence only how I respond to that existence. Yes, my culture has bred a hyper-selfish nature! I do think a great deal more about myself than I should. I do spend too much time on the details often forsaking the heart of what matters most. This is a struggle, I believe, I will always work at because it is so innate in our society. I can be intentional to pursue others-focused activities and volunteerism to keep on track and honor the lives those in lesser circumstances. I can also stand up against injustice when I see it around me or have opportunities to be involved in efforts across the globe.
I also have come to understand guilt, while understandable, is not a healthy response. I was recently speaking with a friend about a family who were visiting Mexico. During their stay, one of their two daughters was abducted. That would be tough to walk out as those parents did what they could to save their lost child, but would still continue to give their best to the daughter in their care. They wouldn't want the one in their custody to have guilt, as she did nothing wrong, nor treat her badly to keep things fair. That would never happen. This scenerio is a great metaphor for us as God's children. God loves us all the same, but sin in this world can create some undesirable circumstances for some of his children. The rest of us can pray and do our part but continue to live in God's best and desire for all, which leads to the next point.
God's goodness is not bound by the parameters of circumstance. Recently, I was reminded of this truth at a day of worship I attended. Circumstances reflect the state of our world not the goodness of God. Even in the harshest of realities, God is at work to bring goodness to his children.
We often focus on the moment when God sees the journey as a whole. He is not limited by time like we are. If we could have a broadened perspective spanning the scope of our entire lives we may come to see God in vastly different ways.
Be grateful for the life you've been given and continue to pray for the people of this world, just as you would a sibling who was lost, knowing WE ARE ALL GOD'S CHILDREN!