Maybe I'm not seeing things through the same lens as the news teams. I don't care much if I have a lot of money or barely enough to cover necessities.
Our area has a university, which attracts money, and then the outlaying population that is low income. It's a stark contrast between the two. Unfortunately more than money seems to separate the two worlds that exist here.
I've had opportunity through various events to meet some people who work in the university setting. While most are nice, there are a few who are a little farther up the chain and put on an air of high society, and then the hangers on who follow the high society crowd. I've not been too impressed.
I've also had opportunity to meet folks in the opposite end of the spectrum, who have been homeless, or had to rely on food banks and meager Social Security payments to support themselves (retired), or who work long hours at low wage jobs and just can't make the bills after paying over half of the paycheck to rent and another quarter to daycare.
Throughout my life, I've been closer to the lower end of the spectrum. Despite the sad outlook the news here puts on not having money flowing out the ears and a purse overstuffed in cash, I am fine with not having much in the bank. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be able to shop for whatever we wanted, not have to worry about the cost, plunk down a few hundred dollars on a new dress or a suit or furniture, but in reality, those aren't necessities. Those don't bring joy. Those don't matter on the other side of heaven. Sure, new things would bring a little happiness for a short time, but eventually the newness wears off. I'd be fine with being able to go to the grocery store and buying beef without having to go to the cheapest cut and making it stretch a long long way. I'd love to buy a $10 a pound steak and make my husband a special meal with as much as he could eat and be satisfied. Once in a great while I kinda look longingly at the smart phones and start dreaming.
But those aren't what God put here for me or my family.
The news here pushes poverty and discontentment. I wouldn't even think much on it if it didn't hit the headlines. In our little world, we don't feel like we fit into the government's little box of who is under the poverty line. In our little world, we are fed, clothed, we have a roof over our heads, we toil with our hands either at home, a job, or serving others voluntarily. Our children are fed and safe, they do not know what it's like to go without necessities in life. God has taken care of our needs, from the clothing on our backs to the food in our bellies and roof above our heads. He uses what means He deems necessary to meet our needs. He even provides extra surprises as He sees fit, and gives us chances to pass along what we are given as well to be a blessing to others.
Proverbs 30:8-9 says: 8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
9 Lest I be full, and deny [thee], and say, Who [is] the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God [in vain].
I've learned to live much like Philippians 4:11: 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content.
I've learned to trust the Lord for everything, and He takes care of all of our needs. What HE thinks are needs and what WE think are needs may be different, but HIS view of our needs far outweighs OUR thoughts of what needs are. I don't NEED a fancy expensive outfit. I don't NEED a new car or smart phone or new kitchen gadget or whatever. We don't NEED a lot of things. What we NEED is the Lord, first and foremost. We need His guidance, His peace, His calming hand. We need Him. He takes care of the rest.
Of course, that's not what the news articles will say is needed. No, they site more government programs, more liberal church programs, and so on. What our area needs more than those things is the Lord in hearts. Without Him, no program, no plan will come to fruit and flourish to bring peace and prosperity to anyone.
The hymn is true--"Little is much when God is in it, Labor not for wealth or fame." With the Lord, all I have is all and more than I can ever need.
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