The Riches of our Nitty-gritty Poverty

I am thinking continually these last few days on our poverty, or our frailty, and how we must constantly live in the crucible of it. How we must not evade it, deny it or ignore it, but rather acknowledge and embrace it. The line that has played incessantly in my head this week is from an old song by Rich Mullins,

Oh, we are not as strong as we think we are.

What is so Good about Poverty?

What is so good about poverty? What is so good about seeing myself as poor? Well, to state it plain, it’s the truth. It’s the level ground that all of humanity stands upon but so few rarely claim. When Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” He did not somehow acknowledge a special group of really humble people and call them blessed.

Rather, He invited all of humanity to experience the blessing of living in the truth of their poorness rather than sinking in the delusion of  false strength. We are but dust (Ps. 103:14).

And if poverty is the truth than what is the deception? The deception is to live far from it, to forget about it and begin to imagine even subconsciously that somehow my lack of suffering, my lack of weakness or inability in some way proves my strength. That is not strength. That’s just the absence of a thousand possible upheavals that could swipe my legs out from under me at any given moment.

The true strength of our living is actually directly related to the degree of our embracing our poorness. For the heartbeat of real living is when we, dust that we are, reach from our nitty-gritty poverty and cleave to Christ. Now that is the beginnings of some true strength. It is here in this cleaving that His strength is perfected in my weakness and iron is worked into my soul (2 Cor. 12:9).

A Reckless Cleaving to Christ

Oh for grace then, to live in such brokenness and poorness of spirit that the heartbeat of my living is a continual, reckless cleaving to Christ. Only someone utterly convinced of their poverty can cleave to Him with such vehemence. And oh, they surely are the blessed ones. They get Him like no others do. They drink of His everlasting water and eat of His true bread like kings around a banqueting table. Yes, blessed are the poor in spirit, for as those who cleave closest to Christ, they are the wealthiest of all.