(Illustration of the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. Source: Google images)
I sigh. (Oh, I’m sorry if I have to begin on this note again!). And this doesn’t escape the hearing of my beloved husband (why does he clearly hear my sighing but often not my instructions? ~ smile) and he tells me this, “Always remember the tender mercies of the Lord, that He never fails to help you and comfort you everyday.”
“I do, but there is always this feeling of not being really full, of something missing. It feels like, for me, it’s never ever complete,” I answer, and I know exactly what I mean in that: joy is not really complete if you have an illness and physical sufferings, you can’t do the things you are deeply longing to do, and go to places you are greatly desiring to see.
“Yes, I understand”, he answers back, nodding.
And that was the end of the conversation, for really, there was nothing more to say. We had gone through those paths numerous times and said similar words, pondering on each sentence spoken. And then silence.
But this last time, the Lord had something to say. He brought me to Luke 6:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.” (Luke 6: 20-21 NIV)
I could have easily passed by it, except that this time, when I read the words, the Lord opened the eyes of my heart and I saw clearly the blessing. It was an epiphany.
There is a blessing in poverty, hunger, and sorrow. Not only material and financial poverty, but poverty or lack of that something that the heart deeply desires. It could be anything: food on the table, roof under one’s head, love and care of family, healing, good health, strength, kids’ education, harmonious relationship, good communication, blissful marriage, wisdom, joy, realization of dreams, having kids, achievement of goals, and more.
Because there is poverty, or lack, in any of these things, one hungers to be satiated. And as the hunger remains to be unsatisfied, there is sorrow. Sometimes deep and with weeping.
I am one who is poor in health and strength. And even though the Lord has taken many of my illnesses and I am now able to work on my laptop and prepare food for my family (with a lot of help from our housekeepers), there are so many things that I still can’t do which my heart is yearning to do, and there is still physical suffering in day-to-day.
And because I am poor in this aspect – and when one is poor in this aspect, it affects many other things in one’s life! – I hunger for the Lord’s touch, comfort, healing, and miracle! I hunger to crawl up behind Him and touch even just the hem of His garment, and feel all this suffering stop! (How many times have I played this scene in my mind – I’ve lost count!)
Hunger that is so real I can taste it! Sometimes it tastes bitter, but turns sweet when tears pour out and the weary body is enveloped with the Lord’s love and holy presence.
But He says that the poor, the hungry, the sorrowing are blessed! And the ones who are full now but don’t have the Lord Jesus Christ in their lives, woe to them!
“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.” (Luke 6: 24-25 NIV)
I remember Lazarus and the rich man (please read Luke 16: 19-31). This is their story: the blessing of Lazarus who lived in poverty and hunger on earth and the woe of the rich man who lived full. In the end, the Lord was true to His promise.
To those who hunger now, this is a real promise that we can all look forward to its fulfillment in our lives.
My gratitude list – giving thanks to the Lord for:
- This chocolate banana nut loaf I made which is really scrumptious!
- “Hope, Peace and Joy” tea set which Hannah and I enjoyed with our fun, afternoon tea and of course with the hope, peace and joy in our hearts!
- This book “The G.I.F.T.ed Woman” – a gift from beloved Sis. Peach, dear daughter of our beloved pastor.
- Watching Tim sing in the Cherubims Choir.
- Cuddling with my luscious, little Tim.
- Smelling Hannah’s sweet-fruity-fragrant long tresses
- One of the amazing testimonies I heard at Church today: a sister-in-Christ who was kidnapped together with three other women. The Lord miraculously delivered her but the other three were killed… (By God’s grace, I will feature this on my Minister of Mercy blog. I’ll let you all know when it’s done).