What is a poor man? Someone who has nothing. Not only that but someone who has nothing and knows it.
A poor man cannot pretend to be rich because all he has is rags. He cannot say much because whatever advice he gives will be weighed against his current condition. He is poor... Unless we realise how poor we are only then can be bestowed with whatever God has for us - wisdom, a revelation of himself, material gain - whatever.
Unless you realise you have nothing, only then can God give you something.. Because then you will receive it with tears of gratitude.
So often in our darkened thinking we think we have to drum up Gods affection, we think we need to 'save up' good deeds in order for Him to hear our cry. We work for his favour, his blessing, even his listening ear. Good deeds, time spent in works, or in 'prayer' or even 'studying the word' but we do it somewhat with not so much the wrong intentions, but a wrong belief. That by doing these things, God will hear me, God will listen. Well at least I do. But we must reach the end of ourselves, to the point where knowing that no amount of our effort could even lift the finger of God.
As long as we pretend we have something in the bank, God will let us use our own pathetic finances until we come to the end of ourselves and finally realise we are actually broke and let him know that everything we own, everything we think we have is all but dust and moths.
We must begin to understand that God listens because he wants to listen. He loves is because he WANTS to love us, not because we deserve it, neither because he is pleased with our performance. If he loved us thusly it wouldn't be love at all.
Sometimes in life when we have fought the battle so long and exhaustion takes over, where no matter what we have done nothing has changed, where we are destitute, where we have come to the end of ourselves and we do not even have the energy to fight anymore - even if that fight is for something we think we should be going after... When we reach this point, this is what we have to offer God, our tears. That burst of facing our emptiness, our brokenness, our pain and our disappointments.
You see God has everything, he doesn't need anything from us at all, but he does want one thing. Our hearts. Our pathetic, wounded bleeding hearts. He wants us to stop hiding behind all that we think are and pretend to be and be honest with him, so he can reveal his love to us, heal us.
A friend once told me that God doesn't define us by our performance based on our outward actions, he defines us by the cry of our hearts. And there is nothing he wants more than for us to cry out to him.
Only when we have nothing can we truly be given something, and whatever God chooses to give us will be more wonderful than we could ever imagine, create or fabricate ourselves because it will be a gift of love freely given, because it all boils back down to his undeserved, loving Grace.
Tim Everton is a youth worker and child carer from South East Melbourne. In his off-time he pursues graphic design, photography and enjoys the beach and seeking out the next best cafe latte both in equal measure.
Tim Everton's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/tim-everton.html