Thursday, May 15, 2008

On Burma and His Kingdom come

I've been thinking.

Yeah, I know. Too much. But here it is anyway.

I've been thinking about the recent disaster in Myanmar / Burma. I just saw a headline that the death toll may reach 128,000. Inconceivable. My entire town is less than a fourth of that.

The cyclone gave us a startling glimpse into the poverty and oppression of the Burmese people. The images of the survivors are nearly as disturbing as those of the disaster and its victims.

I think of the things I worry about, my (perceived) needs and my (many) laments. What if I were a mom in Burma? What if those images I see just before I click away to another channel less disturbing and a little more entertaining--what if that were my life? What if it were yours?

It makes our fervent desire for a bigger home and a new sofa look, well, silly. Our desperation for significance and "fulfilment" and stuff seems just a little self centered.

I'm not saying we should all live a bare subsistence in abject poverty. I am saying we have much, VERY much, and to whom much has been given, much shall be required.

What am I doing with the much I have been given? Seeking more, much more--for my own personal gain? Or do I take the much and invest it in eternity, seeking the much more of God's glory and His kingdom come?

I think sometimes we take the much God has given us and keep it for ourselves. Oh, we like to call the house and the car and the job and the stuff "blessings," but I wonder sometimes if they truly are.

When there are moms and children dying in Burma and China, does God really want to "bless" us with a bigger mortage payment and, in many cases, a second income to pay for it?

Or what about moms who are just moms but view their work as something lesser and long instead for something bigger, what does our dissatisfaction and our longing for accomplishment say to the moms of Burma? Or Sudan? Or China?

How easily we forget that our God has a Kingdom that is not of this world, a kingdom that is not about big accomplishments and even bigger piles of stuff. Rather, He longs to see His glory displayed among the nations, for Christ to be exalted as King over all!

May God grant me a heart for the nations. May I see beyond the bubble of my self centered perspective and glimpse instead the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ for every tribe and language and people and nation. May I forget the temporal kingdom of Lisa, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal; may I pursue instead treasures in heaven, the eternal kingdom of my Lord and Savior.

His kingdom come, His will be done!

11 comments:

  1. My Friend....you preached to me today!!!!!! Thank you...

    MdA

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  2. thank you for your inspiring perspective on this... God really spoke to me through your post. may this lead to active faith in my life and yours.

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  3. As usual, you are right on!

    This is the conviction the Lord has put on my heart since the fall. I had (have) so many material things that are meaningless, and therefore worthless. When hubby came back from his mission trip in January, and recounted stories of the Katrina victims, I realized God was working on both of our hearts. We've parted with a lot of things that just don't matter, so we can focus on the things that do.

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  4. "I am saying we have much, VERY much, and to whom much has been given, much shall be required."

    I have thought about that a lot, too, many times. Thank you for a very needed reminder to think again. How it hurts to say how quickly I forget and go back to living in the temporal kingdom of Rebekah (to paraphrase your very apt description of what I do too often) worrying about things that really are not where my focus should be. Thank you for sharing these difficult thoughts.

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  5. "I think sometimes we take the much God has given us and keep it for ourselves. Oh, we like to call the house and the car and the job and the stuff "blessings," but I wonder sometimes if they truly are."

    Amen, girl. I think you just nailed us all.

    God help us to be moved with compassion like out Savior.

    Kelli

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  6. A post that really sets the heart thinking, Lisa!

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  7. AMEN, AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!!!!!!!!

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  8. Wow. I have a similar post rattling around in my brain. Slightly different but covering the same basic principle of our overwhelming blessings and "whom much has been given, much shall be required." I haven't been together enough to write it though.

    "Or what about moms who are just moms but view their work as something lesser and long instead for something bigger, what does our dissatisfaction and our longing for accomplishment say to the moms of Burma? Or Sudan? Or China?".

    This paragraph really hit home and if I ever do write my post I may quote you.

    Great post.

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  9. As usual, you are right on!

    This is the conviction the Lord has put on my heart since the fall. I had (have) so many material things that are meaningless, and therefore worthless. When hubby came back from his mission trip in January, and recounted stories of the Katrina victims, I realized God was working on both of our hearts. We've parted with a lot of things that just don't matter, so we can focus on the things that do.

    ReplyDelete