". . . give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God." ESV
Some 3,000 years ago, a man was observing something in his own heart that we still struggle with today. At least, I do. I find it ironic and sad that my times of greatest devotion, trust, and prayer are times of hardship or trial. I want to highlight that aspect of this Proverb: He prays against riches, because in the ease of wealth, he may "forget" his God.
I know I do this. When there is little pressure on me, and I am left to my own self-discipline, my worship suffers. My prayer life suffers, my thought-life suffers, my effort to study Scripture suffers. What's worse, I don't really notice until I'm in the hot-seat again. When the going gets tough, and I begin leaning on the Lord, only then do I realize I have been negligent. No wonder he allows trials and challenges in my life.
Does this resonate with you? Do you find yourself devoted to God, clinging to him, and seeking him daily for needed help only when you are suffering, lacking, or overwhelmed by a challenge? Brad Bigney once said, specifically about parenting: "You are either desperate, or delusional." Well, when life is easy, I am so often delusional. I'm not sure if it is comforting or discouraging that the author of this Proverb found the same reality in his own heart millennia ago.
My prayer is simple: I ask God to grow me into the kind of person who is always aware of my needs, always devoted to him, and disciplined enough to seek him earnestly even when I don't feel like it.