Hear me right: We are abundantly rich and blessed compared to the rest of the world. But the ground beneath us has been shaking, so to speak, and we have been unsure where to put our feet.
As Christians we speak of trusting "fully" in God and giving our whole hearts to him. But let's be honest. Most of us don't have to trust God alone until our worldly stabilities are taken away and we have no where else to turn. Not till our foundations shake and fall down. It usually isn't until we're faced with some practical reality of destitution, and we become completely helpless in some way, that we come running to our God for stability and security.
Until then, we take care of ourselves.
But when there is nothing left to stand on, that's when we stand on the promise of God.
Look at any elderly person faced with having to live in a nursing home. No one goes into a nursing home happily; they wait until they have no where else to turn. No family member can or will take care of them. Or they are simply all alone.
Not until we get desperately needy do we give up our lives into someone else's care.
"The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position." James 1:9
Why does James call humble circumstances – or poverty – a high position?
Poverty comes in many forms, and we will all face its reality again and again in our lives. Every loss of control, every broken relationship, every death of a parent. Every cancer cell. Every time we get fired. Every abuse. Every injustice. For some of us this will happen more times than others, and that is precisely because...
...we are blessed.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3
That kingdom of heaven is becoming more valuable to me everyday. The more the rugs are pulled out from under me, the more I need God. Not want God, need him. Desperately need him to come through for me, because I don't have answers or solutions or medicines or money or help or direction. The fact of the matter is, I have never felt so helpless in all my livin' days.
But that's the glorious point!
"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge."
God wants to be our sole stability, and if he allows us the horrible experience of getting knocked down over and over, glory be to him. When we come to, and look up from the dirt, only he will remain. And we will look into that face of pure love and know that he alone is enough.
Joseph and Mary, they were poor, and desperate for a place to give birth. But then God provided a tiny shack that just happened to be called a stable.
When you have nothing much, a stable is stable enough.
For they had the promise of God.