Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. — Matthew 19:24
Scholars may debate Jesus’ intention with this illustration from Matthew, but if you read the whole passage, you’ll see that a rich young ruler in the story was a good man who had been humble and giving. The problem was he wasn’t quite ready to give up everything he had to follow Jesus.
So what is your “eye of the needle,” that thing you can’t quite give up to surrender your whole heart to God? Figuring out what is still possible for you may hinge on those things you aren’t quite willing to give up, or at least to give over to God’s care and keeping.
The rich young ruler wanted to know what else he needed to do to follow Jesus, but he was disappointed when he heard the answer. What about us? We may imagine we have already done the things that Jesus would require. We’ve given to others, applied our hearts to charity, and attended church on a regular basis. As far as we can tell, we’ve been model citizens. So what stops us from taking that one last step to make a full commitment?
We don’t know if the young ruler ever decided to do what Jesus requested, but we know we can decide. We can choose to follow Him so He can lead us into even more amazing possibilities, or we can choose to hold on to what we’ve got. We might have our own heroic stories, our own prize trophies that we’re not willing to risk. After all, we’ve done enough.
Ah, there’s the rub!
Who defines what is enough?
Recall the poor widow who put two mites into the collection box. She was considered extremely generous because she gave everything she had to God. She didn’t hold anything back.
The beauty of an open hand is that it most often is accompanied by an open heart. When we want God to give generously to us, we have to make sure we don’t hold anything back from Him.
With an open hand and an open heart, we find the way to all that is still possible.
Lord of the Possible, remind me to always be prepared to give up anything You’ve given me in favor of Your blessing and Your direction. Only You know my whole story and what You’ve planned for me to do next. I praise Your name! Amen.
Excerpted with permission from It’s Still Possible by Karen Moore, copyright Karen Moore.
* * *
When times get tough, it’s easy to start squeezing our hands tight and even to start squeezing our hearts tight, too. But, in God’s economy, anything we give — whether it’s our time, our future, our goals and dreams, our possessions, our space, our money, whatever (!) — He will bless and multiply. Let’s open our hearts to whatever He has for us! ~ Devotionals Daily