From Riches to Rags
by Ray Harmer
Years ago I planned a family vacation to Canada. To feed all of those young mouths, I needed some extra money. The opportunity arose for an overtime assignment, so I quickly signed up. Twelve hours at a time-and-a-half would go a long way toward goodies around the campfire.
I set off and reported for duty. Not being a member of this unit, I was treated like a brat kid and sent to the worst post there was. This meant twelve hours on my feet in the blazing summer sun. There were times when I questioned the depth of my love for the kids!
It was a “rich” side of town and all day I witnessed the finest cars, clothes, and people whose only worry was what they were going to do with their money. I would be lying if I told you I did not wonder what it would be like to not worry about money. “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked,” (Ps. 73:2-3). Likewise, Asaph was questioning the injustice. I was in good company and most would agree that we all have wondered.
Amongst this cavalcade, I noticed a street person sitting against a wall. It was coffee time and I brought a cup to him. I started witnessing and he told me his life story. He was an articulate man; not your average hobo. It seems he was a multimillionaire, owned a business in North Carolina with his brother and had a family. By worldly standards, he had it all. He told me he tried everything in his pursuit of happiness and none of it satisfied his void (he had not given God a chance).
I asked if he ever corresponded with his family and he said he only calls his brother about twice a year. He told me his brother always asks where he is at; so that, he can send a limo to take him to the airport, to meet their corporate jet and bring him home. How sad I felt when he told me his brother begs him, but he always says no. He had it all; yet chose this lifestyle. Sadder is, he was resistant to the Saviour.
I was taught a spiritual lesson that day. If I get to feeling the unrighteous are better off, I remember this encounter. Asaph spends the first half of Ps. 73 wondering about the perceived injustice, but the remaining verses show what the redeemed have and the unrighteous do not. In particular, Ps.73:24-25, “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.” It will be worth it all when we see Jesus! That alone makes us the richest people on Earth.
February 20, 2019
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