There was a point in time where comfort was the pursuit. I thought, what else is there to do but find a sustainable job, beautiful wife, have kids and go to church on Sundays? I viewed this as the ideal situation for the believer. I thought this is what being blessed was defined as by following God. Being blessed was angled at the things to be obtained rather than the One placing them before you. Then came the life of a Sojourner. Sojourner is defined as someone who resides temporarily in one place. The Bible often refers to them as strangers. I looked at the template of worldly comfort and realized that it is incredibly boring and isn’t comfortable at all. It lacks true everlasting peace and comfort because what happens when it all fades away? I realized that it isn’t a good investment after all. Now, marriage and kids are all things that I desire and are incredible gifts from the Lord but not at the cost of replacing a pursuit of the Giver Himself.
I find myself 10 months in, here in Berlin, and realize that I haven’t found comfort. I don’t have a permanent place to live and it is quite taxing and very uncomfortable. I thought that arriving in Berlin, the first objective was to get comfortable and suited so that I can move forward with what God has for me here. I started to compare my situation to the life of a sojourner and thought okay. The Bible talks about being strangers a lot so it must be okay. However, this process of thought only brought temporary peace. I was looking for that incomprehensible peace.
Last night, I couldn’t sleep because of anxiety brought on by my housing needs. I woke up to see an email from someone else here in the city celebrating that they found long term housing. I found myself upset and not understanding why I was struggling with trusting in God. Time and time again God always comes through and yet I found myself kept awake with mistrust. Why? Well first off, I am human and secondly, I am a sojourner. Quite literally I am moving from place to place here in this city and it’s uncomfortable. However, as I considered scripture this morning I came across a passage that I have read so many times yet it came alive and spoke life into me unlike ever before. The Beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5. This is a very well known passage but when you are looking at these verses from a place of discomfort they come ALIVE!!! Verses 5:3-4 go like this:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Notice the contrast in each of these verses. It doesn’t say blessed are the ones with more money. It doesn’t say blessed are the ones who have comfort or permanent housing. If these verses were from the perspective of a human it would state these human ideologies of blessedness. I am not going to lie though…if it did state the human ideas of blessedness, this passage would be so shallow. However, I love that it is titled Beatitudes, supreme blessings, because it is so much deeper than money and housing. The contrast is that it says blessed are the…..poor and mournful. How does the word blessed and poor go together? That is the question I had and the answer is found in shifting from a human defined beatitude to a Godly defined beatitude. First instinct is to see the gifts as the treasure when the gifts were given as a means to bring us to a state of worship toward the Giver. Well, I have found that the lack rather than the possession of housing on my end has pushed me to a state of reliance on God completely. If I had everything I needed flying at me, I don’t know if I truly would celebrate the Giver or completely forget Him. I am left thinking…why wouldn’t I want to have more intimacy with God? I have found that the lack of earthly comfort has lead to a life with more of God, my Father. This is what true blessedness is. He is the supreme blessing. A life of dependence on God is a life of more intimacy with the One you need every hour! I’ll take this beatitude over any permanent housing! I am satisfied with being a sojourner!
"Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears; For I am a stranger with You, A sojourner like all my fathers.