I’m woken by the noise of popping, whether from my sore back or from my bunk bed I’m not quite sure. Stumbling out of the room, I dodge small talk from my fellow housemates who enjoy mornings more than I do. The chilly winter’s morning is met with equally cold water sputtering from the shower. Through chattering teeth I complain to God that I am entitled to better conditions.
I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in Canada, a country with a high standard of living. I never had to think about how to get clean water, or gone to bed on an empty stomach. Compared to most, I’ve had it easy. And I haven’t done anything special to make it this way for myself, it’s just where I was born and that’s the way things are here in Canada for most. Except, it would appear, in a hot water deprived, missionary facility.
You see, what was meant to be a “gap year” of travel and missionary work has turned into over a year and a half of working with a non-profit organization: Youth With A Mission. Having completed those first eighteen months, I then committed to YWAM to live on the other side of Canada for an additional two years as a missionary within the film industry.
Although I’m confident in what God has called me to do here for the next few years, I am struggling with my sense of entitlement.
I think I’m entitled to hot water, privacy, steady income, and a Shetland pony. Okay, maybe not the pony, but you get the message.
Entitled to comfort?
The past couple of years in missions have been spent with weeks, sometimes months, in countries where modern comforts aren’t expected, and during those seasons I adapted. I thought, “If they don’t need it, I don’t need it.” And yet, as soon as I returned to Canadian soil, my white-privilege-first-world-country hat returned to my head and I would spend a day soaking in my bathtub and painting my toe nails.
As Western Christians, we so often get into our heads that we are entitled to comfort; both in the literal, living situation sense, and with our lives and interactions with the world as a whole.
We shed a tear and shake our heads at the injustice and persecution of Christians in places like the Middle East, yet we cry to the heavens when a friend or co-worker challenges us on our beliefs, or when we can’t find a good parking spot.
We think that we are the exception—that things that happen in other countries could never happen to us. We’ve all prayed “the prayer”, doesn’t this mean God will protect and take care of us and that all will be simple? No.
The Lord cares for our every need and He upholds His promises to care for us as a father would. That being said, the Bible is chock-full of His disciples facing treacherous oppression and torturous deaths. Not to mention Jesus Himself.
I am definitely a work in progress on grasping this concept. I have moments of epiphany where I meditate on this truth, yet as soon as I check my decreasing bank account to buy groceries I’m having it out with God once again. It’s definitely a reality that’s easier said than done.
Yet, my God is gracious, and slow to anger. He never seems to tire with me through my ups and downs of adjusting to my new reality as a full time missionary, even if it is in my native country.
He has provided me with loving friends and family, and reminds me that all I could ever need rests with Him alone. Nothing and no one from this earth could fulfil my every need in the way that He does. And with that, we can find true comfort.
Miranda Bersaglio works in the film industry with a Christian organisation, “Youth With A Mission” in Quebec, Canada. During her free time, she can be found making films, writing stories, and getting lost in a good book.
This article originally published at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/miranda-bersaglio.html