I always thought I was immune to greed. I heard of athletes who balked at a mere $10 million a year and thought, “What selfishness!” See, I didn’t need all that fancy stuff that money buys. I just needed to pay my bills and have a little extra for saving, spending, and giving.
Did you catch it? I just need…need.
C.S. Lewis, in his book The Screwtape Letters, talks about two types of gluttons. The first and most obvious stuffs themselves at every chance. But the other type says, “I only want…” and they mean it. They focus so much on that one miracle food that it becomes their measure of judgment on whether every encounter is a good one or a bad one. Did they have that special thing I need to be happy?
So it was with my greed. I didn’t demand the finest things or sacrifice my family for salaries, but I did put a dollar sign on my faith. If I didn’t make enough to meet my self-imposed standard, then I couldn’t be happy.
And it gets worse. Just this morning, when my bank account dropped to nearly empty (again) just two days after I got paid, I had a meltdown. Long story short, I discovered that I based my value, and God’s love for me, on how much money I was making.
After all, if I wasn’t meeting that aforementioned standard, then either I was failing or God was. Or both.
Yet God never promised to meet my number. He promised to provide for my needs many times in the Bible, but not to keep my bank account in whatever state comforted me.
In short, I’d made an idol. I relied on something that wasn’t God. And worse, I believed God didn’t love me because he wasn’t meeting my standards.
But now we come to the good news and the reason for this blog post. I went to church and the pastor preached a sermon on how God’s power works miracles and gives us rest, two things I didn’t believe.
To make a super long story short, I had to shed my ideas of God’s faithfulness and look to what he actually says and does. God says he will provide and God can do so in any number of mundane or extraordinary ways, from finding $20 on the sidewalk to making manna appear with the morning dew.
So as I got on my knees and prayed, something beautiful happened. I saw a vision. God walked me into a bank vault overflowing with gold coins–I’m talking Scrooge McDuck’s money pool. It was like the camera kept zooming out and zooming out, but I never saw the ceiling. The room glowed with gold, and coins fell from their precarious towers into waist-deep piles of wealth.
Why? Remember, I pictured God’s love in dollars and cents. So God, being the ironic joker that he is, gave me a vision not of literal money God had for me (per se), but the actual dollar value of God’s love for me.
Love stacked so high it leaned and fell under its own weight. Love that colored the room with its brilliance.
And the best part? This wasn’t the totality of God’s love-wealth. Not even close. This was the Bank of Mike. It was just my portion. I didn’t have to divide that “gold” with the rest of God’s children; every one of them had their own vaults. This one was mine. Down to the last doubloon.
Because God is big enough to outlandishly love every single person who ever lived and ever will live. He doesn’t have to divide his love-wealth in such a way that his massiveness gets diluted into a handful for everybody. We each get a vault.
Not a wad of cash, a vault. Not a paycheck, a vault. Not a truckload of hundreds, a friggin’ vault. Imaging collecting every cent of the American National Debt, tax free, and you’re the sole inheritor. You wouldn’t know what to do with it all.
Neither do we know what to do with all God’s love, once we finally see it.
And that’s the real reason I wrote this. Not to brag about my flabbergasting God-wealth, but to point out yours. Remember, that vault, the one where I couldn’t even see the ceiling, was only one. You have a twenty-trillion-dollar, tax-free inheritance just waiting for you.
Because God doesn’t just tolerate you. He bakes a Thanksgiving dinner every time you come over. He collects the letters you write, the news clippings of your successes, and three hard drives of photographs, all about you.
People don’t get their hands and feet pierced by nails and hung out to suffocate for mere lukewarm affection. Only the most violent of love could excuse the most violent of deaths.
You have a vault. The Bank of You is open for business. So take a leaf from Scrooge McDuck’s book: dive in.