-Gary Thomas, Authentic Faith
Why beans and rice?
It’s funny that you ask, because I have been asking the Lord the same thing for the past 14 days.
Why is it that you put this vision in my head? What is it you want me to learn from this experience?
Why beans and rice?
Little by little God has been revealing this answer to me… but it’s been a process of learning to really look deep, really listen and really being willing to hear- even when it's not what I wanted to hear.
There have been several things that I have mentioned that God has made me aware of… like how much emphasis we previously placed on things in our lives that didn’t really matter. And how those ‘things’ took time away from the things that really do.
I’ve learned to appreciate what we have been given- instead of taking things for granted.
I've learned to love my family even more for being willing.
Last night it was particularly hard because I have the flu and a fever and the thought of eating beans and rice (once again) was about enough to do me in. And yet it hit me that for so many people around the world- it doesn’t matter if they are sick or not. They don’t get served a big hot bowl of chicken noodle soup and a steaming cup on green tea. That’s not an option for them.
Yet the biggest thing God has been showing me is this:
These are pictures of children from an orphanage in
Amy blessed me by allowing me to use these pictures of these beautiful children from a near by village who come to their school. These are pictures of them getting their Posho- with their beans for lunch. Posho is a ground maize cooked that tastes similar to mashed potatoes but heavier.
The 90 children who live at the orphanage get Posho for dinner, plus some vegetables grown in the gardens. One or two days a week they will also get some type of meat. Sundays are special days when they will get rice, vegetables and meat. Amy and her family also serve many children from nearby villages who come to their school. These children all get Posho and beans for lunch, porridge for breakfast-and for many of these children this will be their only food for the day.
If you'd like to learn more about this precious family you can visit them at http://gwartney.blogspot.com/
Please don't forget to tell them thank you for the sacrifices they are making. I'm pretty sure they are tired of beans and rice too.
So, what does this have to do me and what has God been showing me?
Yesterday at church our pastor preached on "taking up the cross and denying ourselves".(I love it when God correlates everything in our lives all at once). Our Pastor explained that we must stop living for ourselves and live for the gospel of the cross. He reminded us that often people are guilty of picking and choosing what we want out of the bible. How often times we accept only the things that we like, then apply those to our lives -because they ‘fit’ into the way we are willing to live.
We humans do this because we are hoping for the benefits of Jesus- without the cost.
Denying ourselves is work. Nobody likes to go without. As a matter of fact, from the second we are born into this world we come out demanding our needs be met.
Kaden, age 2, is totally into the “me and mine’ stage. He doesn’t skip a beat -everything involves him- everything in his little life is about him. Todd and I often giggle as he tries to discover who he is and make sure that his needs are met...making sure he his every want is met.
It is my job then, as a mother, to help him grow to understand how important and cherished he is- yet at the same time eventually get to a place where he understands that he cannot have everything he wants. Sometimes he has to take turns, something the answer to no- no matter how bad he wants something.
It’s a part of maturity- unfortunately something many of us never outgrown.
Webster dictionary defines sacrifice as this:
- Forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to have a greater value or claim.
Giving up something for the sake of a greater value- Jesus- is more than worth it.
And the funny thing is- it’s almost laughable, embarrassing actually- that I ‘think' I am giving up something for Him- when I consider all that He gave up for me.
Lord, forgive me. Forgive me for the times where I didn’t even realize. Forgive me for the importance I put on my comfort. Forgive me for the times I have focused solely on me and my own and lost sight of the ONE thing that truly matters- YOU. Forgive me for following the Gospel of Self and not the Gospel of the cross. Save me from myself.