I recently made my way through a slum section of highway in the capital of a large African country. I’m naturally curious about cultures and love to just gaze at how people from different cultures live.
As we made our way through this stretch of city, I noticed the poverty reflected in the way the homes were put together. This is what poverty looks like. Watching house after house as we drove by quickly, something caught my eye. It was one of those moments, sadly, I couldn’t get my hand on my camera quickly enough. The irony of what I saw really needed to be captured. But unfortunately, my words will be the only record of what I saw. There, on the wall of what most people would have considered the rock bottom of society, in a slum, was a sign on the shabbiest mud constructed home. The sign, proudly displayed on the door of the house read “BLESSED”.
I sat for a long time pondering the story of the person that lived there. Did they really feel blessed? How could they truly look at their situation and consider themselves blessed? The more I thought of that sign and that family’s story I was certain there was a lesson for us all in that.
We tend to consider ourselves “blessed” according to earthly and societal standards, but blessed ought to be a special word restricted to a whole other realm of usage.
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
The imagery of this passage is a message we all need to experience. We tend to focus the expression “needs” on material things: food, clothing, shelter, money, and so on. But the imagery Paul used here is so much more, in fact it transcends the material, specifically addressing the spiritual. Perhaps I would translate it along the lines of it saying, “God can fill every part of your emptiness”. That is far broader than material needs. We know that our deepest needs are far deeper than a material solution could ever fully satisfy and that is where God steps in. He CAN fill wherever we are empty.
In the completed work of Jesus on our behalf, He can fill our emptiness from the abundance of His radiance, His majesty, and His honor.
So maybe today you are feeling empty, lacking, or without. And perhaps you have been looking to the things materially that we are told will fill these wants. Maybe it’s time to look to the One who is actually capable of filling those voids, not with material placebos, but with the one and only solution to our deepest needs. Look to Him who has provided solutions in the sacrifice of His Son, and who is ready to fill all your emptiness. Perhaps then the contented sign of contentment and confidence which reads “blessed” will grace the door of your countenance.
Dr. Ronald J. Barnes Jr.
President / CEO