Luke 18:25 (KJV)
For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
For certain in this economy there’s not too many of us that have to worry about the eye of that needle, but whether a man have one dollar or a million he’s still at risk if his money lord’s over how he lives his life. A Tanzanian friend asked me about this verse this morning and I explained it as best I could in layman’s terms, but it caused me to dwell on the priorities of life. America is a blessed nation full of great wealth in comparison to much of the world’s standards. It is said if you have $20 in your pocket you are in the top 5% of the wealthiest people in the world; and while that may be an exaggeration, it may not.
As I cleaned out my refrigerator this week and threw out dish after dish of disgusting left overs my soul was pricked at the waste. I threw away more food than many have to eat in a week. I jump in the car and run to the grocery store and give no thought to the gas or the market costs, or eat out on a whim what our parents once had to scrimp and save for weeks to do.
When I traveled to the Philippines and friend and I were eating at an American chain restaurant, Kenny Rogers Roasters, and as we sat by a window a small child came up to the glass with sad eyes and hands out requesting help and it broke our hearts! So my friend and I purchased a dinner and took it out to her and then came back in and sat down. We then watched in disbelief as two men came up and took most of her meal. We witnessed another girl attempt to prostitute herself, and when my friend tried to share the gospel with her and gave her some cash she went into a meltdown for fear the man who was using her as a business would think she was trying to get money for herself. Children, even toddlers ran the streets by themselves searching for food, bathing in potholes in the street living in lean-tos made of tin or under bridges in busy intersections. It was a culture shock and for a while stuck with me as a reminder not to take my life for granted. In Manila there were two sides of town, much like we know here. On the one side the poverty was evident, on the other walled in houses protected the homeowners from seeing any of the destitute people on the street.
Some days I have a wall around my heart not allowing it to see the needs of others or giving to the Lord as I should. I have my own needles eye I’m trying to get through. Not the one to Heaven, I am saved by the blood of Jesus with that promise within but I speak of the narrow way of walking with Christ. It’s a tight relationship… where you are walking so close to Him that the needles not an issue.
Today it is my prayer that you and I stay ever mindful of our stewardship to the Lord and His desires for our lives. His desires may mean we put ours aside in part or completely. It may mean pushing outside of our comfort zone and offering help to someone or it may be as simple as not buying that extravagant or not so extravagant thing. It will most likely be different for each of us. But as I prepare to go eat my bowl of Raisin Bran I hope I truly understand how blessed I am and I hope you are blessed.