When I Realized How Rich I Am

“The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.” (Mark 4:18-19 NLT)

God’s plan and desire is that we live fruitful and productive lives to His honor and fame, not to ours. Yet, we live in a world whose bent is to desire more, whether we need it or not. Jim Daly (Focus on the Family) wrote: “Have you ever noticed that the more you have, the more you want – and that the never-ending grasp for things beyond your reach is not only making you miserable, but also hurting your relationships with the people closest to you?”

That was me for more years than I care to remember. Chasing the proverbial “American dream,” to get rich and live without care. It saddens me to think of all the people I neglected, especially in my own family, because of my insatiable appetite for “more.” But why? My rationale was “to give my family a better life” or “so that I might help more people.” But I believe the truth is, I just wanted to feel better about myself.

It took losing everything that mattered to me for me to realize how “rich” I already was. When my wife left and took the kids, I didn’t think about the nice house, new cars, or any other material possession. What haunted me were the walks we took together, tossing ball with my son, worshipping together and sharing meals – all the things that families do when they love Jesus and each other. How did I so easily lose sight of those important things?

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

It’s the same battle we all face, it just affects us in different ways. It’s called sin, and it rears it’s ugly head in all of us. So, what do we do about it? The answer that’s helped me is to cling to Jesus like a dying man clings to breath. Give Him the priority He deserves in our life. Allow His Spirit to enable us to discern the difference between what is transient and what really matters.

A good rule of thumb is – people are more important than things. For me, when I realized how “rich” I am, I began to cherish my closeness with Jesus, who in turn enabled me to see how much loving my wife and children brought pleasure and joy to my life. Worship is the highlight of my day, leading to a greater appreciation of my church family, especially the men in my Men’s Group, those with whom I serve at the church, and others the Lord has put in my life to allow Him to love through me.

In the article I read by Jim Daly he mentioned a couple of people who had deep regrets: “As he lay dying, the late Bob Marley, the famous Jamaican singer, reportedly said, ‘Money can’t buy life.’ The first Queen Elizabeth reportedly remarked on her deathbed, ‘All my possessions for a moment of time.’ “

Don’t wait until you or someone you dearly love is on your or their deathbed to realize what a privilege life is. If you have a spouse, children, relatives, a church family, neighbors – love them well! Pray each day for them and listen to the Lord as He prompts you to reach out to them. Visit, call, write, FaceTime, do whatever you can to help everyone in your spheres of influence know you love them and are grateful for the important role they have in your life.

Casting Crowns sings a beautiful song entitled Scars in Heaven. Please listen and let the Lord help you to realize just how rich you are. As for me. I’m going to go hold my wife and cherish the moments I have with her.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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