Riches

“Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” Proverbs 23:5

I’ve never had much money. Not that I’ve ever really wanted much. Until I started driving two years ago, I got by just fine with a couple hundred bucks a year, earned by washing the car for my mom, or selling things door-to-door (such as Christmas candy).

It did occur to me that, although I always spent my money wisely…okay, I usually spent it wisely…and although I tried so hard to save up, I was never able to get more than about $100 in the bank. I found it very frustrating. Especially because my brother Ethan, who is a year and a half younger than me, always seemed to have more money, even though he spent his all the time. Sometimes I wondered whether, if I was to spend mine, more would magically appear for me, too. 😄

When I started driving, expenses seemed to skyrocket. Insurance. Gas. Registration. Car repairs. Etc, etc, etc. I didn’t know how I was going to pay for it all. Thankfully, my mom started paying me when I babysat my siblings, so that helped cover it for a while. And then, just as my life savings (which had still never gone much above $100) were just about gone, God provided me with my first “real” job, which was…yep…more babysitting. But at least I was working for someone besides my mom, and it got me out of the house (I had, and still have, almost no social life).

So, I finally started getting ahead a little bit. Life was going great. Then, it happened. My car, which had been my grandparents’, and which they had generously passed on to me, broke down. Literally, on the way to church camp. Just a few days from when I would finally be able to legally drive my friends. The timing couldn’t have been worse.

So anyways, now I was back where I started. Actually, I was worse off because now I have no car. I have to drive the family van to go places. But luckily my brother Ethan just got his permit, so we decide to save up and buy a car together. That was last summer.

Now fast forward to February of this year. My brother and I have been working at a machine shop for six months. My brother loves the job, but I don’t. I am the only girl there (story of my life), and it’s dirty, boring work, washing and deburring parts. Plus, it’s an hour away from home. We only work two days a week, but we leave at 7 a.m., and don’t get back til 6 p.m. Anyways, despite not being the ideal job, the paychecks have given us what we need, and we bought a car. Even after all the expenses of registering it, getting some parts it needs, etc, I still have money!!! So I am feeling pretty good, right?! And I am of course hoping that the car will run good, be reliable, and all that.

Welllll…unfortunately…Ethan and I are on the way to work one day and the car dies. Like, I am just screaming inside, “I give up! Cars hate me.” I told my mom, “well there goes another thousand bucks.” My mom, very optimistically, says, “oh, no, it should be only like $2-300.” Well, of course I am NOT an optimistic person, and I didn’t believe her. A couple days later I had the satisfaction of being (unfortunately) correct when all the repairs came out to…$1,000.

So, you say, what is the point of this long and drawn-out tale? Well, the thing is, I was pretty upset that just when I was finally getting ahead again, something else happened to put me behind. I was hurt because, “I trusted God to give me a reliable car!” But one day at the end of that stressful week, the verse that I put at the top of this page flashed across my mind.

“Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” Proverbs 23:5

I realized that God was just teaching me how really worthless money is. Of course, I think, “it’s not worthless!! That money represents hours and hours of work I did to earn it!” And yes, so it does.

But God is just as capable of taking care of me whether I have $5,000 or just $5. He can provide for my needs regardless of what I have stored up. Of course it’s smart to have something saved for emergencies. But maybe, subconsciously, I was thinking, “Hey, I’m doing pretty good. I can handle whatever life throws at me now!” When, in reality, I have no idea what tomorrow holds. Solomon said,

“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11

Also, “The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.” Proverbs 21:31

And, “Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.” Proverbs 23:4

So, my friend, let’s not make the mistake of thinking that we are doing well just because we have money stored away. When we do, that is a blessing from God. But we still need Him just as much.

 

 

 

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