When my husband first proposed, we weren’t in the worst shape financially. We were both blessed to still live with our parents while working full time, so we’d managed to sock away a decent savings. Still, the prospect of living on our own, being solely responsible for bills and rent, was intimidating! We had to have an honest conversation about where to live, what kind of home to rent, etc. After some heavy dialogue about what life would look like if one day we suddenly couldn’t make rent, I looked him in the eye and said, “I don’t care if we live in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere, as long as I’m with you.”
This saying has been repeated back and forth a lot during our four years of marriage. It’s a promise and a reassurance that we’re in it for the best and the worst, and it’s not an exaggeration for either of us. Of course, living in a cardboard box under a bridge is not what either of us would prefer. But it’s what we’re willing to endure if it means sticking together.
There’s no doubt I feel that way about my husband. But it suddenly occurred to me to ask myself today: “Do I feel the same way about God?”
I know I’m supposed to. A “God and me at the end of the day” attitude is something I’ve always wanted to have. But am I there yet? Today, I started thinking harder about that. Could I be content in a cardboard box under a bridge as long as I had Him? Could you?
It’s an interesting notion, isn’t it? History is full of examples of people God called into uncomfortable conditions to serve Him and His purposes. It’s easy enough to say we’d do that, that we’d take up our cross and go—while we’re sitting in our comfortable east-facing armchair, watching the sunrise, hot coffee in one hand, Bible in lap, snuggled under a blanket.
But if God called us into a situation as uncomfortable as laying our heads on the hard ground every night to serve Him, could we really do it—and do it without grumbling, discontentment, even resentment toward Him?
This is by no means a call for all of us to sell our things and move under the nearest overpass. But I hope some of you will join me in the journey of finding complete contentment in the presence of God. It may be a lifelong effort, but starting today, I know I’m going to do my best to make it a priority. If I can’t give up everything and go where He leads me, then I’m not following Him with my whole heart. I’m not a disciple who could leave the nets and go down the shore in the footsteps of Jesus.
But that’s who I want to be. I want to be sincere when I say, “Not my will, but Yours be done. Here am I, send me.” And if He calls me to a place outside of my comfort zone, I want my heart to be willing and ready to follow—to the nearest bridge and beyond.