"I just feel like I don't have any control at all!"
I said it with anger, through tears while Richard listened patiently.
Then he calmly said the words that were oh so true, but not what I wanted to hear: "Maybe that's the point."
"Of course that's the point, but I don't want that. I want to be able to control something in my life!" That's what I told God. The irony of the arrogance doesn't escape me. I see it for what it is, but I know God sees it in my heart anyway. May as well just say it.
The more I ask God to show me my heart, the uglier things get.
Today, I spent most of the day working on our ministry stuff and was confronted with more arrogance and irony in my heart.
We recently transitioned mission boards and somewhere in the transition we lost some supporters along the way for one reason or another.
And I worry.
I worry as I adjust the spreadsheet to reflect the new numbers and it's less than what it was before. Money has always been a struggle for me. I don't like crunching numbers, paying bills... I don't even like to know what's in our account. It's a source of stress.
And that's wrong.
The irony is found in the fact that I know that God has never NOT provided a need. Even now I sit here with food in my belly, internet at my fingertips, a glass of clean water next to me, and even a list of people who have said in just the last few days, "Let me know if you need anything!"
Meanwhile, in the Jungle, babies are dying from dirty water, malaria, and yellow fever. Tribes remain hopeless because the Gospel hasn't arrived and they watch as their people die daily from preventable disease. Indigenous missionaries long to go into the depths of the Jungle to reach their own people, but the funds aren't there. Marcos (who you can read about here, here, and here) supports himself, his wife, their 2 year old son and 11 Indian students on $250 a month.
Here, we still have more money coming in each month than 98% of the world will see in a year.
And I have the audacity to ask God to let me have control of something in my life. What a mess I would make!
My American heart is so scarred from a culture of excess and greed and I ask God to forgive me, deliver me. I want to see clearly.
"Create in me a clean heart, oh God. And renew a right spirit within me..." (Psalm 51.10)
I pray this, knowing that it will hurt. After all, "pressure creates diamonds and fire refines the gold" (Tripp Lee).
But it would be oh so very worth it to have the faith of these Christian Indians in the Jung|e who daily fall before a holy God, begging Him, not for money or things or even security and certainly NOT to have control, but for strength to endure so that their families can know the Truth.
God forgive my faithless, arrogant, selfish, prideful heart.
Make me more like the very people You have called me to.