Alright, here is one thing that I know God is working on me with: American prosperity or Christian suffering. I desire so much to live a simplistic life, full of giving and love. But it is so hard to live this life in America, because everyone around me is pushing me to go, learn, earn, and get. They want me to go and do something I don’t want to do. And I am hearing this from mostly Christians!
They tell me,
You can earn a six digit income.
And what I want to scream to them all is,
I DONT WANT THAT!
I simply don’t want that.
I don’t want plenty for this world, I want plenty for the coming world!
I want to bring that world to this world, in the spirit of people.
I want God to be so in me, that all I desire is to give of myself so much in order for people to come to the Lord that I would die with the suffering for this gospel, that Christ would LIVE, BE, SO ENCOMPASS IN others and me, that nothing else would suffice.
That is all.
According to God’s will, let it be so.
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.
The Prayer of Saint Francis
“O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light, and
Where there is sorrow, joy.
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved
as to love; for it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.”
For more on Saint Francis of Assisi, go here (an interesting version on his life, especially the fact that they built a church on a hill for him when he lived in a cave).
Break forth together into singing,
you waste places of Jerusalem,
for the LORD has comforted his people;
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
“Waste places” or possibly the desolation or wilderness of the heart is where we should sing songs to God from the “waste,” “abandoned,” or ”insignificant” places of a persons heart. Jerusalem was the heart of Israel, a people, unlike the nation we know today. They were a people, united, with one heart. That “heart” became a waste place when they were taken into captivity by a foreign nation, for nothing (read beginning of Isaiah 52). And when they returned, their heart returned, and God wanted the praise. So… praise God!!
I found these things profound. I hope you enjoyed, and it extended your mystery of God.