I have found myself complaining more than usual the last few days, and I think it has to do with the fact that the electricity has gone out every single evening for the whole evening for the last two weeks. And so I sat in the dark (since there’s no electricity), in the cold (since there’s no heating/AC unit), in the rain (because it’s rainy season), building a fire (since there’s no stove or oven) to reheat some beans for dinner (since the food I cooked yesterday and was saving for today was eaten by someone…) and I asked God, “Is it really just too much to ask for some electricity?”
And Jesus, trusty mediator between God and man, answered me this: “Yes. That is in fact too much to ask.” He continued, “I recall sacrificing living in a place way more glorious than the United states to live 33 years without a single day of electricity. Which means just like for you, preparing my food took forever over a fire, with smoke getting in my eyes all the way. It means just like for you, there were some times I was thirsty and there was no clean water to drink and no quick solution to the problem. It means just like you, the day is shot by 6 pm when the sun went down. And just like you, it means no easy solution for being hot or being cold. And in case you were wondering, yes, we had mud everywhere too in rainy seasons. I gave all of this up because the time and place that the Father felt was appropriate to send me to redeem you of your sins did not have such luxuries, and so it was indeed TOO MUCH TO ASK for any of them. Get over it. Because your neighbors are all doing the same thing as you, just like my neighbors were all in the same boat as me. So get over it. Because I don’t recall having hot tea from a kettle when the electricity DOES come on in the morning. I don’t recall occasionally blow drying my hair or having nearly perfect weather all the time or a mosquito net to protect me from disease and insects. I think I blessed you with those things, though, didn’t I? I also don’t recall having a laptop, and being able to access the world wide web from my bedroom. In fact, I also did not have a telephone to instantly connect me to friends and family. And the taxis you complain about waiting for? Yeah, ours looked a lot more like donkeys. So the next time you want to complain to me about all the things you don’t have, you just remember you’re preaching to the choir. So you sit boiling your clean drinking water over your fire and be grateful I created fire for you at all.”
Jesus doesn’t take no crap from nobody, not even a missionary. And that’s my favorite thing about him. So in my evening prayers tonight I know what I’m thanking God for- fire.