Wednesday, April 18, 2012

when abject poverty is a good thing

I sat and looked at the checkbook register, which showed a whopping balance of $11. 

And two weeks until a payday. 

Fresh out of college and living in a new town, we had barely started our jobs and were living in a sad, tiny little apartment where cigarette smoke wafted from next door and Guns and Roses blared all night from upstairs.  We had never been that low before. 

I held the checkbook in my hands and prayed, “Lord, help us.” 

The next day I opened the mail to find an envelope from an elderly woman from the church where I grew up.  She lived in an assisted living facility on a fixed income, but she sent us a check for $500.00. 

I will never forget that in our poverty God took care of us.  I consider it one of the richest moments of my life. 

Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 5:3  NIV) 

When we get to the lowest place in our soul, not financially but poor in energy, poor in love, poor in hope, that can be the richest time we ever experience.  I’ve been there before, too -holding my life in my hands and wondering how I can possibly make it another week. 

Jesus puts the word “blessed” (which means happy) and “poor” in the same sentence. 

Take your worn out soul to the Lord and declare bankruptcy.

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