"No one has ever become poor by giving." ~Anne Frank
We've had a rough few weeks in the Campbell household. What started out as a hacking nighttime cough, turned into bronchitis and then into the stomach flu! What? you say. Yes, I know--who ever heard of that? My stomach is so sore from constant coughing that I should have washboard abs.
At any rate, in the midst of my and my children's physical woes, I thought of the Compassion kids and their lifestyles. It occurred to me, probably for the first time, how incredibly blessed I am to have toilets that flush away sickness, and clean water to replenish lost fluids. As horrible as my nausea was, I endured it in a comfortable bed, with air conditioning! And I got medicine to help me with my cough that (still) won't quit. But what if I couldn't get that medicine?
In the November 2010 issue of the Pentecostal Evangel, on page 18, was "A perspective on Worldwide Poverty." It's hard to wrap your mind around things like:
- Almost half the world lives on less than $2.50 per day.
- Over 1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation (like that flushing toilet that I've taken for granted).
- 1 in 3 children in the developing world are without shelter.
- Alcohol and tobacco -- $205.6 billion
- Clothing and footwear -- $429.8 billion
- Recreation -- $881 billion
Shocking, isn't it? Over a trillion dollars spent on unnecessary items, yet we are so reluctant to give money for a good cause because we cannot "afford it."
God stirred something in me the day I read that article. I ripped out that page and kept it, and it has pierced my heart every time I've looked at it. I'm glad He got my attention. The more we careen toward the end of the world as we know it, the more aware I am of how useless my "stuff" is, and how meaningless anything I do is, if it isn't done for the glory of God and in His name.
One thing I've learned, in the midst of all of this, is that we all afford the things we really want to afford. There really is no such thing as "I can't afford it," in the life of the believer in Christ. What God calls us to do with our money, He will equip us to do. And we will learn great things in the midst of needing to truly lean on Him for provision, instead of trusting in our own ability to provide our needs.
" 'Oh, I can't afford it,' we say -- one of the worst lies is tucked up in that phrase....yet we talk as if our Heavenly Father had cut us off without a shilling! We think it a sign of real modesty to say at the end of a day--'Oh, well, I have just got through, but it has been a severe tussle.' And all the Almighty God is ours in the Lord Jesus!"
~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest