Peace & Strength 11am
“12. I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
This is an incredible passage … one I find hard to fully grasp. Paul (the writer) lived in a much different world than I have ever lived. I’ve never known real hunger.
Sure, there have been times I’ve been hungry. I’ve skipped a meal or two. I’ve deprived myself for spiritual purposes. I’ve “gone hungry” in an attempt to lose weight, or to understand what others experience daily, not by choice.
I’ve been in countries (Cambodia and Cuba) where hunger was present. That hunger, to a degree, exists in Seattle, Spokane, Yakima. Surveys indicate panhandling in the U.S. earns $4-$15 an hour. In our cities, here in Yakima, public and private agencies offer meals, housing, healthcare, and other assistance. More is needed.
The closest I’ve been to hunger, real hunger, real want, honest poverty that stuck to my clothes, was in Haiti. It wasn’t occasional. It wasn’t the exception. In some areas of Port Au Prince, and in other large cities, NGOs (Non-Government Organizations) tried to help. Their attempts, honestly, seem to have little positive effect.
Christians in Haiti know what Paul means in this passage. They understand what it means to depend on God in times of hunger and need. I’m at the other end. I know plenty and abundance. Does that drive me to rely on God for the strength I need? According to this passage it should.