Rosa and I stood at the entry way of a home in Bolivia. I placed a brand new Bible in her hands and hugged her tight. I patted her over her thick black braids that cascaded down her back. “I feel different,” Rosa said, “I feel free.” Calmness and reassurance rang in her voice. The previous day, I had spoken to her and she invited Christ as her personal Savior.
Her destiny had changed. But her daily routine had not. She wakes up at 5:30 a.m. in the frigid cold of the Andes Mountains where she lives inside four walls made of mud. No heat. No indoor plumbing. No electricity. She lifts her sleepy 2-year-old and wraps her in a square thick cloth woven with bright red, orange, brown and green thread. With one swoop she places her baby on her back. She ties her securely. Mother and baby head down the dark, narrow path surrounding the mountain toward the city of La Paz. A long walk takes her to the bus stop where a line already formed with folks who also need to head to the city. She takes the bus to another station where she boards another one to her final destination. Two hours later, she reaches place of employment as a housemaid.
“He came late last night,” she told me. “He was drunk and he beat me again in front of our little girl.”
But Rosa’s scenario, similar to so many, now has a different twist. “But I will leave that situation,” she said with resolve. “I know God will help me. I know He will protect me. I’m different now and I want not just a partner, but a husband who loves God. My little girl will have a better life.”
Once I got back to the U.S., real poverty sparked a sense of pity in me. In comparison, so many of us live in material opulence yet trudge through the poverty of darkness. Rosa’s socio-economic situation might not change, but her heart changed. Her outlook was transformed. And her view became clear. Unlike many who live surrounded by material richness, she has the wealth of spiritual freedom. She has the new identity as a child of God. A new person—redeemed, saved and protected.
And while living in the mountain of subtle pride and in the hut of distorted values, this message spoke to me. Does it to you? “Tell those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone. But their trust should be in the living God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).
Father, I confess that pride, thinking I’m better than those like Rosa, tainted my soul. I admit that the foolish trust in my bank account gave a distorted sense of security. When the money is gone and material stuff has rotted, you are the only one who will stand, loving, faithful, strong and more than able to provide for all my needs. Thank you for the new freedom of confidence you gave me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
- Where have you placed your trust lately?
- Without material possessions, would you still feel rich, satisfied and confident?
- What is the balance in the bank account of your soul?
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