What is wealth? According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary online at http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wealth wealth is " abundance of valuable material possessions or resources " or "a: all property that has a money value or an exchangeable value. b: all material objects that have economic utility; especially: the stock of useful goods having economic value in existence at any one time." Many strive to have this type of wealth.
There is the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus a poor beggar in Luke 16: 19-31. “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
As a child I grew up under the poverty line. I knew we were poor, but it never meant much to me, except once in a while when we would see friends who had a lot of toys, or the latest everything. My mom had a very good friend who's family did not really want for much financially. One day after we had visited we were talking at dinner and we told my mom we wished we had what our friend had. She was quiet for a few moments and then kindly reminded us that we had something our friends didn't have - healthy. Heart problems were common in their family and one of their children had passed away while the remaining child still must monitor his health carefully and so must his mother. It made an excellent point. Financial comfort is nice, but money really can't purchase everything. All of the money in the world cannot stop death from coming into your life or give you immediate health. Sometimes the poorest people are the happiest people, because they are content with what they have and don't feel the need to always obtain more.
My husband and I are not wealthy, but we are not poor either. We are in the middle, but even we have times where God gently, or not so gently reminds us that we need to trust in him. The year Chris was searching for a new job, was a year of trusting in God and that he would provide for our needs. It wasn't always easy, and even I had moments where I looked up and asked, "God, I know you have a plan, but I'd love at least a small reassurance that you do have an actual tangible plan for you. Preferably one that doesn't include us becoming homeless." Thankfully, He did not make us wait an eternity to find out what his plan was and we moved to Washington in 2011.
What are your riches? Are they your health? Family? Or do you keep moving through life always wanting more? Where is your treasure stored up?"
Have a good weekend.