Sure Things

Kenya 2015

My neighbor called me over for a little chat. Tonight he wanted to talk about death. He turned 80 years old a few months ago. He’s watched six of his siblings die, leaving just himself and two others. He lives a comfortable and what he calls a good life, but wonders how many more springs he’ll enjoy. He’s searching for a “sure thing” in his life.

All of us look for certainty in life. Maybe it’s more than looking for it … we depend on it. We expect to turn on the shower faucet and have hot water flow. When we stop at the grocery store, we don’t question that there will be milk, and eggs, and bread in more variety and quantity than we could ever consume. We assume that when we push the button on our mobile phone we’ll find full access to our Facebook friends.

Kenyans don’t know if tomorrow there will be electrical power. For many, each day is spent simply searching for food for that day. Precious water must be drawn from a well and carried home in a bucket on your back. Simple illness is not always likely to find reasonable medical treatment. Yet they possess something few of my neighbors know.

When our trust is in God rather than the certainties of life, God’s people experience a profound and strange contentment. I’ve witnessed it in Kenya, where people have so little of life’s sure things. Their contentment flows so very deep that few of us living in the West have any idea what real faith in God looks like. We think we know, but we are clueless in comparison to those in the Third World.

The certainty of God is to be far more desired than the believed certainties of a modern life.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God (Psalm 20:7).


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