Friday, 8 October 2010

The Poor are Chosen ...

AND they will be rich in faith... and inherit the Kingdom. (James 2:5)

I can't get these thoughts out of my head this week.

In the English Service, we are going through the book of James and this verse and the surrounding passage has actually maybe brought some closure to years of wrestling and thinking.

The big question... not just from me but from about everyone who ministers alongside us from the west is...
How can these people, who have nothing and have been through some extremely difficult life experiences, take every opportunity they can to testify to the goodness and faithfulness of God?

You would think that one who has been born in 'easy' circumstances, grown up in the church, had a variety of faith maturing experiences in life would be able to have more faith than the one with the opposite sort of life.

It's just not so.

I have lived in Rwanda for about 5 years and maybe, just maybe I am coming to peace about my heart and 'the poor'. I have been overwhelmed time and time again with their contentment, joy and determined knowledge that God is good and that He alone is faithful. When I look at their lives, it's hard for me to comprehend how they can truly say these things when HIV/AIDs, genocide, poverty, lack of the basic necessities of life - food, shelter, education - are in their daily lives.

But I think that God has opened my mind and my heart even more to understand how His world, His ways, His Kingdom is SO upside down from what I grew up with.

I used to think it was really sad that Jesus said we would always have the poor among us... but now I'm thinking.. it's a really good thing we do!

We need them to lead us to faith, to joy, to contentment, to total dependency on God.

My heart rests knowing they are chosen.


Rhoda said...

Thank you for this Jen! Definitely helpful thoughts. Yes, God's Kingdom is certainly upside down from our natural perspective. It is crazy but true that the poor do not have faith in spite of their poverty, but at least in part BECAUSE of their poverty. I wonder how this should impact my prayer life?
I also think that maybe I need to come to Rwanda to help me learn more about these things!

Cammy said...

Wow! Fantastic post Jen! It is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. As we move ahead with our adoption, my family is sticking their heels in and screaming 'You can't afford this!', yet God is greater, and if the poor can be genuinely joyful and dependent on God, unbound by their lack of stuff, than so can I!

jan said...

i have come back and read this several times.

you nailed it.