"It is pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed." —Kin Hubbard
I have a friend who has a great story about depending on money. He shared it with our church once, and this is about how it went:
In 1982, this issue of money started when I finished my degree at Dallas Seminary. I took a ministry position in California. Being young and confident, my wife and I bought another house when we moved. Ten months into that particular stint, I was fired. Now, we had two house payments... along with our third child just being born... along with all the expenses of a young family.
I got another job very quickly, but we just weren't able to sustain it. On the edge of our declaring bankruptcy, family stepped in to help. The following months were incredibly difficult. The stress was intense; fear seemed to feed on itself. It seemed like an endless string of sleepless nights and rivers of tears, crying as we begged God for help and tried to figure out what He was up to.
It took about fifteen years to get back on our feet. I ended up President and CEO of another company in a partnership. After several years, though, God was prompting us, "It's time to move on." It was a really hard decision and nothing was forcing us out, but we decided to end the partnership. Near the end of the deal, I was in a meeting with everyone's attorneys. It didn't go over well. Afterward, my attorney stopped me and said, "You need to be prepared to lose everything you've worked for here." I thought to myself,
That night I went to have dinner with my wife, and she was anxious to hear how the meeting had gone with the lawyer. I just said, "We need to be prepared to lose everything." As those words tumbled out of my mouth, all of a sudden an enormous peace was driven into my heart. My wife took a deep breath; then she was okay with it too. It had taken 20 years of hard learning, but we were finally at the point where we were ok with having nothing, because in Christ, we had finally learned that we had everything.
What was different the second time around for my friend and his wife? They had discovered that perfect security is found in God. What they learned the hard way, we can learn by choice:
Money can rob us
Money can confuse us
Money can rule us
But in Christ we find security, clarity, and freedom in any and every circumstance.
God, thank You for Your perfect security that will never fail. Show me when I trust other things, and when I do, pull me back to Yourself so I can be a strong believer and member of Your body! Amen.
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