I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:12
While I was in Haiti, I began to redefine a word that I have heard my whole life: blessed. I have thought that I am blessed because I have a lot of stuff, my closet is full and I have nice stuff. But now I meet people who say “I am blessed” and I look at their homes, their ragged clothes, and dirty feet, and I have to believe there is more to this word.
Let me explain.
When I look at my clothes, my shoes, my walls, my phone: these things can be my curse, not my blessing. This stuff steals my time, it distracts me. No matter how much or how little we have, we all share one need in common: Jesus.
When I came back I read that someone had posted “I have a closet full of nothing to wear.” As shocking as it was to me at first, just coming home from Haiti I realize that we think like this on a regular basis. Nothing that we have is good enough. We are cursed to always “need” more in order to be satisfied. The children I saw in Haiti were able to love God with their whole heart, not distracted by stuff. They come out of the most devastating situations and yet they beam with the love of Christ. I felt at home there. It felt more like heaven there.
My feet were dirty, my clothes were dirty, but Jesus was there and He was uninterrupted.
I realize that I am held by my stuff and I find myself in bondage to my “blessings”. I don’t feel free. I don’t feel blessed. At least not in the sense that I have grown up hearing. When I get something new I hear, “Oh you are so blessed.” Yes, I am. But why do we only associate blessing with money and stuff? I saw a different kind of blessing in Haiti. They said the words “I am blessed.” But they were referring to the people who rescued them. They were blessed because of their relationships, the gift of life, and a group of people who love them.
I know that America is wealthy and yes, the term blessed can refer to stuff. If we need a car, I believe God can provide us what we need and yes, we are blessed. I am just offering a new perspective on the word. An addition if you will. Can I begin to measure and count my blessings not only by the stuff I have, but by my relationships? Can I begin to see it as a blessing that I have a wonderful job not just because I get paid but because I have opportunity to minister to students? When we begin to remember our blessings, can we add to the list of stuff? Can we say more than my house, my car, my computer, my phone? Not leaving those things out, they are surely blessings, but can we ADD to that? If the STUFF was removed, could we still have something to be thankful for?
When I look at the Lords Prayer he says,
“Give us this day our DAILY bread.”
What he is saying is, “Give me enough to get me through TODAY.” Do we feel comfortable receiving each day only enough to get us through that day? Do we have that kind of faith trusting God will take care of us? Would we consider ourselves blessed if we only had the essential things we needed each day? What exactly do we really need?
Let me leave you with this scripture:
1 Timothy 6:6-10
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.[rachel]
Copyright © 2012 Rachel D. Fenimore All Rights Reserved