The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.
– James 1:9-11
I read these words this morning. While I am still seeking God’s wisdom in all the meaning here, I think I have a pretty good concept of what He is getting at. My family, along with a team from different parts of the U.S., just returned from Uganda. This was personally my 6th time going, as my husband and I lead a ministry that serves there.
We have witnessed unbelievable poverty and need.
We have witnessed unbelievable riches, too.
The riches have nothing to do with material wealth. It is a wealth of the spirit. It is deep-seated joy. It is a depth of relationship with Jehovah Jireh, God our Provider, who provides our daily bread. It is relational depth with family and friends where posessions don’t take first place.
“The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position…” It’s interesting how God sees things upside down from the way we do. All throughout scripture you can see His heart for the poor. He says that it is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 19:24). Riches weigh down. Riches distract. Riches pull us away from what is important. Riches can make us complacent. Riches can make us not depend on God.
It’s all a facade, though. God has always been the One who provides it all. Our spirits long to be dependent and find solace in Jehovah Jireh, but we are blinded.
“But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower…”
Will our legacies as “rich Americans” be as selfISH or selfLESS people? Will we walk with God or walk with stuff?
I am positionally in a lowly position in God’s scheme of things. Humility is required.
Thank you to so many of my brothers and sisters in Africa for modeling what riches are truly made of.
– Susie Stewart
2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.”
Photo taken by Susie Stewart