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Cold Showers: Wants vs. Needs

water stream from shower in close-up, showing ...

After a long day of work, especially when it was hot outside in the sun and heat, a nice hot shower is always desired. Have you ever gone to take a nice hot shower and discover that you have no hot water? The hot water heater is broken and no water is being heated. That is always disappointing and frustrating. That happened to me a few weeks ago on our most recent mission trip to Rocky Point, Mexico. I helped organize our youth group at Lifeway Church and took them down on a Weekend Missions trip. After unloading and grabbing some lunch we went to a local community center and began painting the outside of the building. This was tough work and also a lot of fun. After a few hours of work in the sun, we went back to the Weekend Missions headquarters building, the Villa Granada, ate dinner and then headed to Unidad Church where we attended a midweek worship service in Spanish. After the service we connected with a few of the attendees and headed back to the Villa Granada to discuss what we were going to do the next day. By the time we were done with our meeting and got back to our condo where we were staying it was around 11pm. It was a long day, we were covered in dirt and paint, smelled, and we were all exhausted. I remember thinking to myself, “All I need is a nice hot shower.” That thought sounded so refreshing to me at the time. I went to the bathroom started the shower, and then waited. After a few minutes I stepped into the shower expecting it to be nice and hot. Instead, I was blasted with a steady stream of ice cold water. The chill penetrated my body and went down my spine. I turned the water off as quickly as I could and covered up. That was definitely not what I was expecting. At first, I became frustrated and angry. All I wanted was a nice hot shower. Then I reminded myself that most of the people here in Rocky Point that we were serving did not have the convenience of heated water. They used water that was stored in giant plastic containers and the water was at whatever the current ambient temperature was at. When I began to think about this I asked myself this question: Is a hot shower a necessity or a want?

Paul wrote the letter to the church in Philippi while he was under house arrest in Rome. He was shackled to a Roman soldier 24/7, and he had to rely on friends and family to provide him with his daily clothing and food needs. Even though Paul was enduring these harsh conditions, he was still able to write the letter to the Philippians, which many call the letter of joy. At the end of this letter in Chapter 4 verse 19, Paul writes “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” What an amazing statement and promise: God will meet all our needs! The key word here, though, is needs. What I realized when I took that cold shower in Rocky Point, was that there are many things in my life that I call necessities (i.e. hot showers/water, vehicle, electricity, etc…), but when I think about it, they could be considered wants. A cold shower was going to get the job done by making me clean. But a hot shower would have made it more enjoyable. Sometimes it is so easy to quote verses like Philippians 4:19 and Romans 8:28 without realizing that God never promised that He would make us comfortable; only that he would provide for our daily needs.

As we approach Resurrection Sunday this week, we remember the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for us, and ultimately the victory that was won over death in His resurrection (John 1:29). As Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, what are some things that you can sacrifice? What are some wants that you can let go of in order to serve and love people in need (Matthew 22:36-39)?

If you would like to attend a mission trip to Rocky Point, Mexico sponsored by Weekend Missions please visit:

Key Verses:

All from NIV

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

About Aaron Coon

Christian, Writer, Speaker, Curious Observer. Married to my beautiful Stephanie & we attend @LifewayAZ. We love the Lord and want to serve Him and His people!


3 thoughts on “Cold Showers: Wants vs. Needs

  1. that was fantastical!!! and the truth is it even convicted me a little when I try to find ways to get a luke warm water When I want certain things when I should just conform to whatever is given to me. I’m still learning because I’m still growing. Thank you for this beautiful blog..May God bless your evening, and Today is Friday but Sunday is coming!!!!

    Posted by Clarra | April 6, 2012, 8:47 pm
  2. Great post! I experienced a similar lesson but with a different revelation…
    Blessings as you continue to serve in Mexico!

    Posted by Kesher International Missions | April 11, 2012, 10:14 am
  3. will you give steph my email thanks

    Posted by Clarra | April 25, 2012, 10:16 pm


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