The conviction of poverty

If any of you have read my testimony, then you know there was a time
in my life that I actually ate from a dumpster. While its humbling to
look back on and think about all the blessings in my life, that time in
my life has had a profound impact on my prayer life. In some ways it
has become a crutch.

I have a difficult time praying for my own
needs, when I know there are starving children out there. In some way,
my own view of grace has become distorted or maybe even perverted.
Right now, there is a deep desire for my wife and I to buy a house for
our children’s sake. A place they will be able to grow up in and call
home. Yet, it is difficult for me to pray for a house when I know there
are homeless in far worse situations than my own. I know because I have
been there.

So, how do you cope? How has poverty affected your prayer life? What advice would you give?

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7 thoughts on “The conviction of poverty

  1. Remember what St. Paul said (paraphrased): The man who doesn’t take care of his family is worse than an infidel. You have to take into consideration what you should do out of obligation to your family (and what is fluff), and then you have to move on no matter how you feel. I don’t know how you rate buying a house, but how you and your wife rate its importance is how you respond, and even if you’re conflicted, move on. Sometimes you only get peace by doing.Once I ran into a guy on the street in the winter who wanted my coat. Christ commanded that we give men our outer-cloak if it is asked of us, and I’ve sometimes wondered if I failed a test, but I refused. At the time, I was one the bicycle, not the motorcycle, but still, when the weather was fifteen degrees, I would be crippling myself. I refused, because it would compromise my other obligations, and I couldn’t buy a new coat. I still don’t know whether I did the right thing, but I based my response on moral presuppositions, and I moved on. Sometimes that’s all you can do; we’re stuck in a position in life where we’ll have to continue to make tough decisions like that.

  2. To pray for a house and neglecting to pray for those who have none — that would be a problem. However, I don’t see anything wrong, scripturally or morally, with praying for one’s needs as well.
    If we come to God as a child to his father, that means coming to him about some of the lesser things too — after all, does Caedmon only come to you when he is worried about someone else?

  3. money is just another tool…the more you have of it, the more you can use it to bring glory to God. I’m totally not saying making money should primary goal in life but I know I was raised w/ the mindset that “we” (christians) aren’t supposed to have nice things. Ya know how people talk if, God forbid, the pastor drives a nice car 🙂 We bought a house recently and it’s definitely one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. There’s something about owning your own land, ya know? We went from renting to spending some time w/ family to save money for our home and ohmygoodness what a blessing this place is. We get to be our own family here. The kids have a yard and a garden…we got a dog :). Also we know that this house is more than just our home…it’s already, in these few short months, been used. There’s never a day that we won’t open our home to somone in need, someone who needs counsel, or just a bunch of the youth who want to play a game of basketball. So yah, there are starving kids out there and people who are definitely in need but you buying a house doesn’t mean that you can’t still put forth the effort to minister to them and their needs.

  4. Hey bro, I read your testimony, I was a little choked up on some parts but had to hold it in as I am at my University’s Library. I was humbled, convicted, angered, tickled, I smiled and frowned as I read your tesitmony.
    I’m kinda speechless… I want a job that will pay me money so I can use it as a tool to help.

  5. Sorry to be responding to this awfully late, but if you happen to read it, then I’d say I have felt the same, and God responded to me with Philippians 4–that, face it, there is plenty and want in the world, and most people experience at least a little of both. God is over it all, and He cares about those who are homeless, the same as He wants the best for your family. We learn to accept it all as Christ would “through Christ who strengthens me.”

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