I was feeling my poverty the day a friend helped get my van started. I was in survival mode, reeling from a divorce, both emotionally and financially. Meanwhile, while he helped, I was complaining about being poor.
That was when he startled me with the words, “You’re not poor. You have the Lord.” If repentance means turning around in your thinking, that comment caused me to spin. I was looking at my life based on what I could afford and limits on what I could buy for myself and my children. My friend saw my life through the lens of faith. He knew that God would give me the strength I needed, and be with me in the challenges I was facing.
A God perspective realigns our thinking. We consider the world and our place in it, not through our material resources, but the abundance of God. Some of the most joyful people I’ve known, have also been among the most financially insecure. With little in material goods, their wealth was found as they daily put their trust in God, sharing their faith, and nurturing the rest of us along the way.
The psalmist says of these:
“The righteous flourish like a palm tree,
they grow tall as a cedar on Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord,
and flourishing in the courts of our God,
they still bear fruit in old age;
they are luxuriant, wide-spreading trees.
They declare that the Lord is just:
my rock, in the Lord there is no unrighteousness.
Psalm 92:12-15 REB
Such a good reminder and when it comes from friendship, that is the very best.
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I often have found myself complaining about having a chronic health condition–a way of being “poor.” Recently I discovered a wonderful book by Toni Bernhard, “How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness,” and that has been a great help. Yes, we are rich in the faith we have, rich in God’s goodness, but sometimes it takes a little work on our part to live into that richness!
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Writing this was a reminder to myself, to recognize God’s blessings in my life. Thanks for sharing your story.
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