Thursday, November 20, 2014

Being needy for the Kingdom

La Jolla sunset from this past weekend :3
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)

I can touch on a lot of things that God has used to check my pride in the past few weeks, but having to fundraise definitely takes the cake. Growing up in an Asian-American household has taught me to fiercely value individual and financial independence, and maybe keep Jesus somewhere in the loop if you're Christian. I get the filial responsibility mindset from my Chinese heritage, and the self-supporting independence from my American roots. Combined, I was taught to always put myself and family first (sometimes even at the cost of God and others). I too, want a stash of life-trophies that can show off my successes and charitable deeds. But when I look at Jesus, the world's definition of a failure, He completely reverses that ideology and forces me to rely on the grace of God and others instead of myself. There needs to be less of me in order for there to be more of Him. This has got to be one of the tougher lesson God has been drilling in me. 

Anyone who has gotten to know me knows that I hate anything or anyone being needy, so submitting to this position God asks of us in is such a daily battle! However, the reality of the gospel means learning to rely on God's grace for everything. After all, Jesus was the homeless, social reject who even told His disciples to "take nothing for their journey except a staff- no bread, no bag, no money in their belts- but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics" (Mark 6:8-9) I mean like wow holy bananas at least I'll be living off $12,000 and two suitcases. Talk about being needy for the kingdom.

But being needy comes with it's coolness factor, I guess. Because when I start being needy/dependent on Christ, I start allowing Him to work in amazing ways. When I grow discouraged I like to think of a priest named George Muller, who founded an orphanage that housed 1,722 children. Determined to rely solely on prayer and faith, he never asked for financial support, and never went into debt. There is a famous instance in which one morning, there was no food for the orphans but they prayed anyways as normal. Once they finished the baker knocked on the door with bread for everyone because he felt God prodding him to do so the night before. One of my favorite quotes of his is: "Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man's power ends." How cool is that? How cool is God?

Although in a far less dramatic way, this is also a lesson I learned during the Los Angeles Urban Project (LAUP) when we all lived off $35.00 a week each. It was so little, it made us realize that when we are provided for, it was out of God's grace because we had no means to do so ourselves. Having daily reminders of God's provision was so life-giving, even though from a material standpoint we had much less than we were used to. Only in these situations can I truly understand what Paul means when he says in 2 Corinthians "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." And I know, that with every blessing, every provision is a gift from God because I have so little control over my life right now. In this moment, had I been able to provide for myself and my family, it's so likely that I would let my own tiny victories cloud God's eternal glory. 

So, like many other recent grads in the millennial generation, I constantly find myself asking the same question: "Why am I broke?" "What am I doing with my life?" The bad news is, I don't really have an idea! But the good news is that I know God does, that He provides, and will continue to provide. 20th century song-writer Bill Gaither's hymn Because He Lives says: "Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living, just because He lives." And if I really believe that what the Bible says is true, I want to live every day like I really believe that God is enough for me, that being needy for the Kingdom is truly worth it.

love, me :)

1 comment:

  1. "Faith begins where man's power ends." I like that. You're brave Kayee! God shines beautifully through your efforts =]