All I Need

Eli and I have been reading a book about Brother Yun, a Chinese house church leader who has experienced a great deal of suffering because of his faith. It has made me realize how small my faith is. I thought that my faith was pretty strong, but all it took was an extremely strong-willed five-year-old to make me doubt whether I should have followed the dream God put on my heart over 13 years ago. All of this has made me think alot and given me a chance to share with Eli how God works through the different circumstances of our lives.

Often we think we in the US are the ones who are so blessed. But in many ways our blessing is a curse because we have so much that we do not have to rely on God as much as those in impoverished countries or countries where Christian persecution is common. Their faith is constantly tested and thus grows to levels ours never does because we are so rarely put in circumstances beyond our control. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to trade places with any of them. I just wonder how much we are missing because we have so much.

The miracles Brother Yun shares in the book make me wonder how many times our lack of faith keeps us from seeing God at work. Some of the miracles that happened to Brother Yun and other believers in China are small things, but I wonder if I would just overlook them as coincidence or explain them away. Or maybe it is because of their tremendous faith that God does answer their prayers in extraordinary ways.

In Matthew 17 when the disciples asked Jesus why they could not heal the boy possessed with a demon, Jesus replied, “You don’t have enough faith. I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

I do think that God places us where we are for a reason. So I am content to live the life He has given me. And I am so thankful that I am still a work in progress. He continues to stretch me beyond my own abilities to rely on His great strength and endless love.

And, of course, this reminds me of a song. 🙂 Sorry, couldn’t find a video. But here are the lyrics to Caedmon’s Call song “All I Need (I Did Not Catch Her Name)”

I did not catch her name

I did not catch her tears

But they hit me like a train

When her story hit my ears

Mother of eight sons

Father off to war

Got no home address

Just bricks on a dirt floor

And she said Jesus is all I need

Tiny plot of land

Corn stored up in piles

The years it doesn’t rain

They just stay hungry for a while

With no fatted calf to kill

She made a feast of cuy and corn and said

Who else knew my name before

The day that I was born

Jesus is all I need

Jesus is all I need

And then she bragged about her boys

And how they’re growing into men

And how they learned to praise the Lord

Old style Ecuadorian

But to buy the new guitar

We had to sell to swine

See my boys go to school on a foreign angel’s dime

This world calls me poor

I bore my babies on this floor

But He always provides

Sure as the sun will rise

So I sing Him songs of praise

‘Cause I know He keeps me in His gaze

Rain fell from the sky

We raced back to the van

Tears in the eyes

Of this poor forgetful man

Mother of eight sons

She knows the peace of God

Lord, help me learn to lean on

Thy staff and Thy rod

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