My in-laws once owned a cute little cottage that had a trap door in the floor which led down to the basement. One day my sister-in-law was walking by and did not see that the door was open. She tumbled down the wooden steps into the dark - landing hard on the cold cement floor! In a sense, we, too, can fall through a trap door when we only see things from a human perspective and not from God’s. This is especially true when it comes to the way we perceive money.
Jesus talks about money more than any other topic because He knows if we look at it the wrong way, as being the source of our happiness, we can tumble down into the darkness of fear, discontent and self-sufficiency…none of which invite peace, satisfaction or joy into our lives. I’ve tumbled a time or two, (ok, more like too many times to count), down those hard-wooden steps because I wasn’t paying attention to where my thoughts about money were going.
I rarely look at my bank statement and think, “I have enough.” Be honest, do you? I know our numbers are different but that doesn’t matter because it’s human nature to look at whatever we have and still want more. We think to ourselves, “If I just had a little bit more – just enough for a kitchen remodel, or new pontoon, or ______, I’ll be happy.” Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said so directly, “Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness!” (Ecclesiastes 5:10) Therein lies the secret to avoiding the trap door… Stop thinking more money will make you happy! It makes as much sense as chasing the wind.
Sounds simple but it’s not easy. God challenges us to choose who we are going to believe since both money and God make the same promise, “If you love me, I’ll take care of you and you’ll find the happiness your heart longs for,” but only One delivers. Jesus proved so in a powerful way while being followed by a vast number of people. It had been a long day and He looked out over the crowd and said to his disciples, “I feel sorry for these people…I don’t want to send them away hungry.” His disciples, looking at the situation from a human perspective, replied, “We don’t have enough food for everybody! All we have out here is a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread!” Jesus simply told everyone to sit down, he “looked up toward heaven, and asked God’s blessing on the food. Breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples to give to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they picked up twelve baskets of leftovers!” (Luke 9:16-17)
What an awe-inspiring story that teaches us no matter our current financial situation, whether we are “rich or poor”, when we look to God for what we need, we find He is – and gives - more than enough.