Friday, December 15, 2017


Submitted by Sam Nobles, North Side Baptist Church
The rich and the poor meet together; the LORD is the Maker of them all.  Proverbs 22:2

On a recent trip to Guatemala, I was blessed to be able to spend most of a day with a family whose child was sponsored by Compassion International. Upon arriving at the home of this family, I was immediately confronted for the first time of what I imagined poverty to be. What this family called “home” was smaller and in worse shape than the shed in my backyard. Nestled in this home, where the bedroom was also the dining room and the kitchen, lived a family of 5 who seemed to be happy and content despite their lack of material things.

My eyes were having a hard time looking into the face of this poverty, but my heart was having an even harder time reconciling how I, and so many people I know, have so much stuff that is unnecessary. One survey I recently read showed that the average home has 189 TV channels. Not to mention that a person has the choice from over 50 brands of toothpaste. I believe so many people are convinced more is better, bigger is best, and getting what you want is equal to prosperity and happiness.

My quest to understand poverty led me to ask the girl who lived in this house, “What is poverty to you?” She began telling me about friends who were not lacking for material things, but lacking for things like love, acceptance, security, and family. To this little girl, poverty extended beyond the scope of temporal desires for things. It was at this moment that I began to think about how there are so many people in poverty – not materially, but relationally and spiritually.

At the end of the day, as we were sharing our good-bye’s, this little girl said something to me that changed me, and has not let me go. She said, “The opposite of rich is not poor…the opposite of rich is enough.” This family had love, acceptance, family, food, etc. They have all they need – they have enough.

Jesus would often appeal to His hearers to not focus on themselves and their temporal desires for instant gratification. The promise of Jesus was eternal satisfaction for every person who believes in Him—a substantially greater gift than any material possession. Jesus is the only one who can meet your deepest needs, which is the true source of true joy and happiness. This is what I discovered at a tiny house, on a mountaintop, in Guatemala.

Lord, help me to understand the fullness that you bring to life. Help me to seek out those things that give eternal satisfaction.

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