As I am writing this, I am sitting here in tears after reading another chapter from World Vision President, Rich Sterns’ new book “Unfinished” and listening to Lincoln Brewster’s “The Power of Your Name.” I thank God that I will never be the same after this trip, and I hope that you’ll join me on this journey. Lincoln sings, “I will live to carry your compassion, to love a world that’s broken. To be your hands and feet. And I’ll give with the life that I have been given. And go beyond religion to see the world be changed…”
I have come face to face with some of the 1 billion people who will go to bed hungry tonight, that’s triple the population of the United States. Sadly, more than ¼ of the World’s 2 billion children suffer from malnutrition, but even worse is that they become victims of human trafficking, the AIDS epidemic, other pain staking diseases and for 18 million of them, they face these things all alone because they are orphans.
The more that we have traveled on this journey to take Love Around The World, the more I am realizing what a bubble most of us live in. The thing about living in a bubble is that you can see out, you can see the need, but you’re so comfortable inside the bubble that you don’t want to anything to burst it. Comfort can be one of the greatest enemies we face as Christians, it can render us useless to God’s plans for our lives.
Imagine what would have happened after Jesus left, if the Disciples would have went back to being fisherman, tax collectors and Pharisees. Instead, they realized that Jesus didn’t call us to just sit inside a church building on Sunday, sing songs and listen to a good sermon. He called us to go to the ends of the earth, to usher in His Kingdom, a kingdom that looks different from anything else the world has ever seen. That call may cost us dearly, as it did the disciples, but it’s the call that Christ calls each of us to answer.
The comfort that we have become accustomed to has distorted our worldview. C.S. Lewis cautions, “Prosperity knits a man to the world, he feels that he is ‘finding his place in it,’ while really it is finding its place in him.” In Luke, Jesus issues us this caution, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist of an abundance of possessions.”
Rich Sterns writes in Unfinished, “How can we compensate for the distortion within our worldviews? How can we hold in one hand the truth that Jesus loves the poor, widow and orphan, yet hold in our other hand the tickets to our Disney vacation? Disparity makes us uncomfortable, especially when we know we could do something about it. So what does our faith do in the face of this disparity? Again, if we are to build our lives on the foundation of God’s truth, we must learn to see the world as He sees it. Should we not weep for what He weeps for and treasure what He treasures? Should we not “seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness” rather than the kingdoms of our own making?”
Seeing human suffering always makes us uncomfortable, but we must ask ‘How does God want us to respond?’ Rich Sterns says it this way, “We, as followers of Jesus Christ, have failed to do this one thing that He commanded us to do. We have failed to obey Christ’s commands to live radically different lives, to build and establish the kingdom of God, to make disciples of all nations and demonstrate His love to a hurting world. And in failing to do these things we have not only failed our Lord Jesus, but the lost and hurting of the World… And we have failed ourselves. Christ did not call us to retreat from the World’s pain, but to enter it. He called us to go. The twenty-first century Church has everything to finish the job… The resources, the knowledge and the mandate. But the great commission given to us by Christ lies ‘Unfinished.'
Rich’s words cut straight to the heart because we find it hard denying the truth of what he says. He is right, and I will be the first to admit, that I have fallen short… I want to change! I want to burst forth from this bubble and live a life for which the Lord can say, “Well done, good and faithful servant."