Have you ever been lost in that daydream where you picture yourself jetting off to some exclusive location on a whim? Or maybe your daydream is a day at the mall, carrying a limitless credit card that you never have to pay back. For others, your thoughts might wander to vacationing on a beach in Fiji for the rest of your life.
Is that the kind of life I would live if I were rich? Possibly.
In my mind, being rich means that you don’t have any worries. You have the ability to sustain your needs and have plenty to enjoy life to the full. But if that’s my definition of being wealthy, why does my brain immediately jump to the acquisition of copious amounts of money? Can I be rich with a few less 0’s in my bank account?
Since arriving in the UK, every battle of my mind seems to be over finance. The generosity of people has been incredible, and daily, I want to thank each of them for their sacrifice to my being here. However, there have been numerous delays. A check was stolen and fraudulently cashed, I’m awaiting refunds that should’ve come over a month ago…it seems like sometimes, my mind can’t get past what I lack. And I suppose, especially in today’s society, that’s entirely natural.
However, while worry has tried to hijack many of the last 30 days, I usually end up in bed every night with one surprising phrase in my head: I am extremely rich.
For the first time in my entire life, I see the world abounding with goodness. I’m surrounded with some of the most incredible people I’ve ever had the privilege to meet. These are influential leaders, world travelers, musicians, teachers, charity workers, mothers, fathers, photographers, designers…and they want to be my friends. Not only that, they want to use their gifts and experiences to bring hope to others. These are people who may not be abounding in monetary wealth, but the richness they possess because of their generosity, love and faith cannot be counted. I find it unbelievable to be among them, learning from them.
You can buy many things in this world, but you can’t buy true friendship. You can’t buy willingness. You can’t put a price on genuine love. To have the opportunity to serve next to incredible, servant-hearted people with such a huge vision to love others is priceless. And here I am, right in the middle of it…truly rich.
Thinking on this topic, there is a verse I can’t seem to get away from which describes the character of God as lacking nothing. This description first appears in Exodus 34:6-7, but I love the way the Psalmist phrases it in the 145th Psalm, verse 8:
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and RICH in love.
God, himself, is rich. He is rich not just because he “owns the cattle on a thousand hills” or can multiply the little that we have. He is rich because that is his character. He is full of all goodness. He abounds in love. There is no lack in God.
I said earlier that my definition of rich is the absence of worry and the ability to sustain needs and still enjoy life to the full. This definition isn’t necessarily fulfilled with monetary accumulation. In God, surrounded by the people of God, I don’t have to worry. In him all my needs are met because he is absolute provision, and through him, by way of community with others, I can continually enjoy life to the full.
I encourage you to take a moment and read that description of God in Exodus 34. First realize that we are so rich because of the goodness of God, himself. If we have a relationship with God through Jesus, we are rich because not everyone chooses to take hold of that gift of salvation. Then take a moment to look around you. Look at the people you’re surrounded by. Look at their talents and be thankful for what each of them adds to your life. I truly believe the more we do this, the more we will see how blessed we are, and the less we will view our lives through the lens of lack.
It is my prayer that you are confident to say at the end of every day, I am extremely rich.