Sunday, November 10, 2013

Being content.

Today I met a woman from Nigeria. Through discussion I learned just how much we, as Americans, take for granted. Our faith. Our ability to share our faith and practice it without physical persecution. Our safety. Our police and EMS that are quick to answer our calls. Our well-lit sanctuaries. Our Christian bookstores stocked full of Bibles and easy to read devotions, organized by topic, writer, or age group. Our easy access to any food we desire. She told me that until I had been to another country, a country such as Nigeria, I would not fully understand how much we do take for granted. But hearing her story really opened my eyes.

 How quick are we to complain? And some of our complaints are SO petty. Out of 50 nearby restaurants, nothing sounds good. Getting up for church is just too early, I'd rather sleep in. It's always either too cold or too hot. What has happened to contentment? And in our country, a country of freedom and a plethora of options, we should be content.

This amazing woman's testimony could not have come at a better time in my life. Honestly, I've been doubting the reality of the God I've heard about all my life. I've been raised in a very Christian home. I've been taught not to cuss, drink, sleep around, or do anything that would bring dishonor to the name of Christ. I became a Christian at a young age. But as I've matured into an adult, I've constantly been faced with reality. People have said so many things that caused me to doubt my faith. I see "sinners" living life however they choose and I see that they are happy. I've heard people curse God without any repercussions. I've questioned "Is this God that I've been so afraid of offending even there?" Then this morning I listened to this woman speak of her faith. Her faith was the ONE thing she had to cling to when an armed robbery was occurring one house away from her with no police anywhere nearby and none coming for hours. I listened to her share that even though she lived in America for several years, she felt God calling her back to Nigeria. She listened. She went back to a terrifying place, gave up the freedom we are so accustomed to because she knew it was what God wanted. 

How can someone be that strong in situations so dire, when I have everything I have yet I still doubt God's existence? Then it hit me. I'm afraid I've allowed blessings to become common and ignored. Sure, I've been through some stuff. My parents are both sick. I'm alone and have no suitors. I sometimes feel like the only thing that truly listens to me is a cat. But you know what? I've got a job. I've got a car. I've got a home. My parents may be sick but they are amazingly supportive and I love them more than anything. I've got a sister who I can share anything with. I've got a few awesome Christian friends in my life. I've got my readers on here! And I've got God. And I know for a fact now that He is enough.

6 lovely notes:

Jessica Jean-Marie said...

This topic has been on my heart for a few months now. As I look around, I feel guilty for all the times I've wanted more, wanted different. We are such a blessed nation & it's sad how often we take it for granted, like you said.

Britt said...

Oh my goodness Jessica, this is absolutely beautiful. It truly touched my heart. I can't even describe how! Thank you for this reminder in that we take so many things forgranted and lose our contentment when we infact have so very much to be thankful for! Your post brought tears to my eyes and it was so beautiful!! I totally feel you- it's hard when we feel like we have nothing, no friends, much stuff eats away at our soul, but when we focus on all that God has blessed us with it truly does make us feel more joyful and content inside knowing we have something greater than what this world can give us. We have eternal life. We have people who love us for being who we are. We are loved with an eternal love from God. Sorry, this was really long. I'll end it here! :) Thanks again for this post!!!!

Natalie said...

Great post Jessica! There's so much to be thankful for... and He is more than enough.

Rebecca said...

I have had the same doubt and discontentment as well, when I have every reason to be very happy! I love how you put it, letting blessings become common. I find I have been doing that too.

Niken said...

i can totally relate to that. sometimes i complaint a lot, but when i think through it, i don't have lost a lot. and i believe that i'm one lucky girl. i should be more grateful.

Veronica Joyce said...

Wonderful post. Thank you for this reminder. My country has been recently hit by the worst typhoon ever recorded and there was so much damage and death. In the midst of this tragedy, numerous victims have shown us how their faith have saved them and continues to save them. We are lucky to have what we have, and much more, we are lucky to have something we can share, our faith included.