I realize as I write this that there are so many scales of wealth to the poorest of poor and to the wealthiest of people. I truly believe God will hold each one of us accountable for how we spend our money and that how we spend it reveals so much about ourselves.
Right now, though, I am poorer than I’ve ever been, but I realize there are many people worse off than I, and I truly am rich in the love of Christ.
As I sit back and take a reality check, I have always been thankful that money didn’t have a grasp on my heart. I loved being generous and I didn’t mind eating bland food and wearing bland clothes and not being completely comfortable as long as it was for a good cause. I think God is always in the business of sanctification and He never relents with those who believe in Him, His beloved Children. But, the truth is, since last March 2017, I never was in desperate need myself. I never was poor. My parents tried to convince my brother and I that we were indeed poorgrowing up, but our ever curious minds knew better 😉 When I got married, when my husband and I did our budget together, we focused on tithing each month and always tried to reach out to the community wherever there were needs. We saved so much and I am thankful for that now. We tried not to live extravagantly, but rather soberly, not knowing what the future will bring.
Now, however, with 3 children to provide for, I really am struggling each month to meet ends meet. Every single decision I make costs money or saves money, so I really have to think about money often. Naturally, I am learning new things handling everything myself and am reminding myself often that money does not equal love from God. I am so glad I get to learn so much about it. I wish there wasn’t as much at stake…and that I didn’t have to be afraid of an accident costing money, or the cost of going to the doctor, or getting my teeth cleaned…these were fears I didn’t have to take to Christ before. They were automatic, I knew I would receive these things.
But, these are real concerns I have to handle and pray through now. I know that I know that I know that God will provide…and He has and will continue to do so. But, I have to lower expectations and more than anything, absolutely remember that gifts and things DO NOT EQUAL LOVE. I think this iswhere the temptation comes from. Sometimes people confuse things and big houses to mean we are more of a thoroughbred or more loved by God. I am finding the opposite to be true. God reminds me that His ways are higher than our ways. That He has created all people equal. That His heart IS FOR THE POOR. And I personally feel and have experienced his tangible love for me during this time of being poor. It is a place of dependancy. It is a place of need. We humans don’t like being in that place! And I like to do everything I can to be productive and to earn money and to make sure my and the kids’ future is secure. But, ultimately, God is in charge of the future and we, as Christians, are asked to not store up treasures for ourselves on earth, but to store up treasures in heaven. I think this means to deny ourselves and to give to others–with our energy, strength, encouragement, money, help, or love. Keep giving. This is again, an antidote to selfishness.
As a child of God, you sign a consent form….it’s the most radical one you’ll ever sign and it goes something like this:
Question (God): Do you consent to really believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World, and your personal Savior, that God sent His one and only Son to die for your sins so that you may receive eternal life with God forever in Heaven?
Answer (Humanity): (Thinking first) Hmmm…this sounds easy enough. Well, I have noticed lately that God is pursuing me and doing everything He can to get my attention…. And as I read Scripture, I suppose God has softened my heart to not doubt so much, because, as I read, the Scriptures that used to bother me and be so difficult for me to accept, I now receive with thanksgiving and joy.
Quick question to God (Humanity): So, it sounds like Jesus does most of the work here as far as forgiveness and salvation are concerned and I get to just do the believing part?
God: Mostly, yes.
Humanity: Well, since I cannot save myself and this offer appears to be free, THIS IS A REALLY GREAT DEAL!!! YES, I believe. 🙂
On a surface level, this is what many of usdo. I always thought, though: Do I have a choice? I need a Savior. I need a lot of help from God. So, this is a consent form I have to sign….much like my rental agreement I just signed. I need a place to stay and this is a good one, so I really do have to sign this form.
However, God is mysterious and his consent form DOES NOT reveal the entire contract. And did you know the contract is unbreakable>?? Yikes. Once really and truly saved, always saved. There are hidden words, there is so much we didn’t know when we signed on. BUT, we can trust in His goodness. God is trustworthy, perfect in every way, Holy, without a taint of evil, and has our best in mind. He does require obedience and Jesus is a tough task master. But it is so worth it in the end.
I like coming back to my precious promises in Scripture…they give me SO MUCH COMFORT.
Where do you turn to comfort?
I made a list yesterday of the good places I turn to for comfort and the bad places. I have many good places I turn. But, some of the bad ones can make life even worse. For me, it’s little anxious habits or candy. Anything I can turn to besides Christ for comfort is not healthy. Replacing fear and anxiety with TRUST and FAITH is the greatest cure for bad habits and the greatest COMFORT to overcome and to change our mindset.
May God’s PEACE be with you this week in advent.
Your sister in Christ,