Our greatest fear is death, that someday we will be gone and be gone for good. That everything we have lived, worked for, will be gone forever. That all the good we have done, all the pains we have gone through, all the efforts we have exerted will all be for naught. And that all the evil we have suffered, all the abuse we endured will go unpunished and will never be righted. What if we were to lose everything indeed when we die?
This deep seated fear in us finds the ultimate refuge in a God who will set everything right in his time:
The maker of heaven and earth, the seas and all that is in them,
Who keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed,
who gives bread to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free;
the LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the righteous.
The LORD protects the resident alien,
comes to the aid of the orphan and the widow,
but thwarts the way of the wicked.
~ Psalm 146
But men often find themselves living out that fear. We cling to everything we have for fear of losing it all. We hang on to dear life, even to the extent to taking or harming it in others for fear of losing our own. We fight one another to be able to keep our place in the sun or our slice of the pie. The bigger, the better.
And the Lord who would set us free and give us sight and raise us up has been teaching us the exact opposite: to receive or to keep something, we have to give it away; to save our lives, we must be willing to give it up; to be raised up, we must keep ourselves lowly. For it is from his fullness that we are filled and it is in his boundless love that we find our true happiness and fulfillment.
“Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood.”
~ Mark 12: 43-44