Richness in Jesus
So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. ~ Jesus, King of The Universe, in John 10
Oh beloved, it is true. We are – in Him – astoundingly rich. The only problem we have, is that we have no idea how rich we are. We do indeed stumble along in our squalid existence and miss the truth.
This fool of a writer had to go to one of the poorest spots, in the one of the poorest cities on the planet, to see it again this last weekend. i am one the 0.02% of the ultra-rich in Indonesia. This is a place where the poverty line is reckoned to be something like $300 USD per year (i make this amount in about 36 hours). And over 120 million people in this country make less than $1.25 USD per day. But this weekend, i realized that my money buys me much less than i sometimes think it does.
And still, i am the richest of men.
Muara Baru is a fishing community in North Jakarta. The garbage of this immense metroplex of over 28 million flows into the holding ponds of this zone and is scraped off (mostly) before the effluent of the fetid rivers is pumped out into the ocean. And it is near this pumping complex that the little town does its best to survive, while the men go out on boats and small ships to harvest food from the ocean – for others to eat.
To call this place poor would be correct. The slightly reddish hair of the very small children, and their slightly sunken features point to a diet astoundingly short of protein and micronutrients. The only clean water available must be carted in on hand-drawn units. And the sparse spigots of running water only pass a slightly green liquid used for what passes for bathing.
And in this place i saw what riches really are.
A (very) little kindergarten girl upstairs (actually up-ladder) at the school we were visiting was finishing the drawing she had started in a contest. She was drawing slowly and precisely, even though the contest had already ended. She was engrossed in getting the colors of her rendering of the story of “Daud dan Goliat” (David and Goliath) just right. She was dressed in the bright yellow shirt and blue shorts provided for the kids who are fortunate enough to begin an education in this village. And while she was tiny from lack of food in the past, she had a relatively good complexion and was gaining strength from the meals she got in the school. But there was something else about her that taught me what riches are.
She had a snippet of hope. And it was this tiny little sliver of hope in this squalid place that drove her. Oh yeah, she probably had nowhere really good to go at the moment, and might have even been hesitant to leave. But there was something in this little elf of a person that showed me what can propel any person out of the worst of ghettos. Hope.
Then, i went downstairs to some of the other activities. And in the stink and mess and garbage and squalor of a place like this, i watched a bunch of kids begin to dance. They danced to a traditional song of the village – and for a moment, they enjoyed the serious of business of heaven. A moment of hope from a few of us visiting their tiny little school had propelled them into a joyful dance.
Along the way, a neighbor woman grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled me close to have someone else take a picture while she beamed and giggled at the prospect of having a foto-op with a “bule” (foreigner). She may have been someone who would have stolen my wallet or my virtue, but for just a moment she was breathing the fresh air of another human being simply being next to her – and treating her like the infinitely valuable person she was (and is).
Can we see it? The tiniest scraped off shaving of hope, sent these people into nearly ecstatic response. What about us? We have been named inheritors of the very Kingdom of God. We will be partakers in this – and in the coming ages – of the unfathomable riches of His grace.
The very storehouses from which the universe was built will be ours to explore and use.
The table at which our King dines, will have a seat with our name on it.
The Love that made the worlds will be the tie that binds us in communion with Him forever.
The thought of anything like pain or loss or wishing will be the furthest thing from our minds.
The very Person of Jesus will be our Brother and Husband and Lover and Friend – forever.
What might an understanding of this truth (if truly understood) bring about in our lives? Oh beloved! Do we have any idea how rich we truly are? Do we have any idea how immense is our Blessed Hope? i do not think we do. Yet.
L_RD, give us a glimpse. L_RD show us a sliver that we might dance like those children in the alleys of Muara Baru! – Makala Doulos participated in the Colony of Mercy and is a regular Freedom Fighter Blogger
Daily Bible Reading: Judges 3-5
Think About This: True have his promises been; not one has failed. I want none beside him. In life he is my life, and in death he shall be the death of death; in poverty, Christ is my riches; in sickness, he makes my bed; in darkness, he is my star, and in brightness, he is my sin; he is the manna of the camp in the wilderness, and he shall be the new corn of the host when they come to Canaan. Jesus is to me all grace and no wrath, all truth and no falsehood; and of truth and grace he is full, infinitely full. ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Verses to Memorize: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7