I am not quite sure where this post is headed. Two thoughts continue to fill my mind as I unpack the journey to the Dominican Republic. The first thought is not a new idea but just one that seemed to hit me hard this time.
The fact that I was born where I was born doesn’t make me any better than someone who was born into poverty. People don’t have a choice when it comes to this. Now, after we are born we do sometimes have the opportunity to better our situation. But, for many folks around the world, they don’t have the means to better their situation. It is their life. They live it everyday. That is the life they know and, while here on earth, that is the life they live. I’ve always believed this but after this last trip I am beginning to understand this fact a little bit more.
Another thought that keeps running around my brain is something I read in the book I took with me on my trip. The book is called Wholly Jesus, by Mark Foreman. I read the following passage on day two of our trip. It put a smile on my face.
“When we return salvation to its original flavor, we will find that it and wholeness were once inextricably connected. It might be said that salvation was once the door to the wholeness.
Salvation historically had a wide-range of application to mean deliverance, liberation, to be rescued, or recovered. A “savior” of an individual or a society was a protector, deliverer or liberator who rescued people from plight, disease or bondage. He was one who ushered wholeness- of the mind, body, soul and culture- to the people.
There is a reason the name Jesus is always associated with the word savior. The root of the Hebrew word for salvation is ysa, from which the name Jesus is derived. The verb ysa means to be roomy, the idea that deliverance makes things spacious, more freeing. It also indicates that without salvation we are bound, confined, narrow and imprisoned. Psalm 103:3-6 describes the salvation Jesus offered to include forgiveness, healing, fulfillment and justice.”
Did you notice? My favorite word…spacious!!!
I have been thinking about this quote and how it has to do with my other thought.
Our position in society does not define us. Our relationship in Christ defines us and makes us whole. Money and things will not fulfill us or save us. Only Christ can do this. I was thinking about the parable of the rich ruler. He asked Jesus what he had to do to make it to heaven. Jesus told him to get rid of all his stuff and follow him. The ruler went away. It was too hard to do. I was thinking about this in the context of what I saw in the Dominican. I think people who have little grasp the truth that they need a Savior easier than many of us who have much. We often get distracted by all the surplus we have in this life and sometimes make the mistake of thinking that all our stuff will somehow fulfill us and make us content. But it doesn’t. It is a temporary fix to a problem that requires an eternal solution.
Salvation, whether we are poor or rich, comes from Christ. Regardless of our status in this life…Christ offers us spacious living through HIM! He provides joy beyond our circumstances and peace despite our circumstances.
Thank you Lord.