Be Still Know
Luke 18:24 NLT
When Jesus saw this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!”
“Wealth” most naturally suggests financial provision. Certainly within our own culture, where wealth creation and accumulation are highly prized and sought after, this is the most natural of inferences. Yet the word “wealth” actually speaks of a plentiful supply of virtually anything. Indeed, we speak of people being time-rich, or with a plethora of wisdom. Perhaps Jesus was less interested in the width of this man’s wallet and more concerned with how he sought sanctuary in his own estimation of his wealth. We will so often resist God when we feel that to take a step closer might expose our vulnerabilities and lead us to acknowledge either our shame or our fractures.
For years I entered into the Christian arena presenting the persona I assumed that others expected of me, sometimes adopting a persona guaranteed to impress or win approval. Certainly the first half of my working life demonstrated my success in this choice of living. However, first my implosion when faced with Katey’s diagnosis, and then my own failure to resurface in the evangelical sea where I’d learned to sail so confidently, following her death, left me confused and exposed. I faced the reality of my own impermanence. It is said the graveyard is filled with indispensable people, yet what if we discover we are dispensable while still alive?
The rich young ruler turned aside extremely sad, as did I, for I wanted to invest my accumulated wealth in its many forms into the work of building God’s kingdom, while Jesus invited me to divest myself of everything I knew and trusted. I began just such a journey of divestment; I feel continuously exposed and have many moments of sadness, unconvinced of my own wanderings, regardless of how convincing a narrative I can craft from them.
My discovery is that to be a follower of Jesus is to live with a consistent level of discomfort, trusting God occupies that space and that I will discover his warm and welcoming embrace eventually.
QUESTION: Where is your treasure, for surely there you will find your heart?
PRAYER: Lord, let me not put my trust in my own ability to provide for myself, but in your eternal provision for me.