Friday, November 2, 2007

How Much is Enough?

Mat 6:25b . . . Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? :26 "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? :27 "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?

Ever since early summer we've had 3 little sparrows that huddle under the awning over our back door. They must be males, because don't females have nests? Sometimes I like to go look at them just to get another shot of cute! You can click on the picture to see that precious face. They're not frightened away by me letting out the dog unless he starts barking a lot and the door slams and it's windy, it takes a lot to pry them from their little squatters claim. I didn't know that one night one of them flew in through the door and on down to our basement. The next morning my husband went down to his computer "set up" area and saw a bird. After an hour of trying to get it out, we gave up because I didn't want to hurt it. Later, hubby noticed it upstairs, so he opened the front door and it flew right out.

Anyway, I didn't plan on telling the whole bird story, but not much happens around here with the kids all grown up. I do want to relate the bird verse, and God's provisions, to another story.

When my daughter came back from one of her college missionary trips to the Philippines, she stood in our living room, and said that 3 families could easily live in this house (800 sq ft). I said yes, I really shouldn't think our home is too small for just one family. Then she went through her clothing and mailed a bunch of it to a volunteer pastor's wife she befriended there. The pictures she showed us and the stories all told us how much the squatters manage to live without. Her experiences, like the missionaries that show their slides at church, help us to see what the real world really is. After all, not many countries are as wealthy as ours. Their squatter shacks, all pushed together side by side (with no bathrooms), made out of pieces of wood found around the junk heaps. But they manage to bring up their children, generation after generation.
The world is full of places like this, and the Great Shepherd has his own sheep in all of them, who thank their Lord for His provision. That means that they are also our brothers and sisters. I'm ashamed of how few times I pray for their strength, that maybe more often I should forgo unnecessary spending and send a little extra to the people who try to care for their needs (missionaries, charities*, native pastors).
We are worth more to our Heavenly Father than all the wild animals He takes care of, yet we are quick to think that He doesn't know what He's doing if we have a setback in our finances and have to downsize our house, or we can't do that vacation get-away. We would still have more to thank Him for than those who think a soft bed is a luxury and indoor plumbing is something they will never experience. Even if our plans don't always turn out to be His plans, and we have to change our mindset, He will always take care of us, in His more perfect way.

*Be sure to check out the financial information of any Christian charities before sending your support.


ErinOrtlund said...

How fun you have started a blog! I will check it often--it is so important for us "younger" (relatively, haha!) women to learn from older wise women. Welcome to the blogosphere!

Josh and Deliverance said...

You give us a lot think about.

Not everyone really soaks in the tales of others' adventures like you do. I wish everyone could have the opportunity to serve in a poor nation and live among the natives to see what it is like. It really changes one's world view.