Last week, I felt really disappointed with God.
I questioned Him a lot because my life seems pointless.
Bakit walang nangyayari sa buhay ko? (Why does my life remain stagnant?)
Bakit kailangan ko pa pagdaanan ang depression, na humadlang sa akin para umasenso? (Why do I need to go through depression, which forced me to leave my job and prevented me to have a good career?)
To borrow the words of Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, I suddenly felt my life was poor and very sad.
But I just don’t know how to be grateful and see the beauty in my poverty.
Financial Challenges Leading to Poverty
For the past years, we started facing financial challenges that rocked, not only our budgeting skills, but also our faith.
At first, I didn’t feel the burden because we still had enough. We know how to be grateful by living in plenty and in less.
However, as we used up all our savings, I started to feel what it means to thrive in the poverty line.
Poverty that Even the Rich Face
Thriving means living within a tight budget, but last week, I discovered that poverty is not just about money.
It’s a compilation of poor thoughts including insecurities, self-pity, hopelessness, and even self-hatred.
One of them is thinking that only few people really care and show genuine concern. We keep on pleasing them because we fear rejection. In reality, they can’t give what we secretly expect from them and we end up begging for their affection and approval.
Another is aiming for awards, recognitions, promotions, positions, and salary increases. Once we’ve accomplished those things, we want more. But the more we hunger for them, the more we realize that we have stocked up on failures and empty accomplishments.
Once we got attached to this cycle, we will feel more worthless.
Personally, I have clung to these and seem to haven’t let them go.
I may have loved Catriona Gray’s answer, but I don’t know how to look through my situation with a silver lining.
How to be Grateful: Beauty in Poverty
I read some reactions that there is no such thing as beauty in poverty.
But breaking down the answer and experiences of our Miss Universe 2018, she immersed herself in the slums and saw the poor and sad situation firsthand. She could have been discouraged, but she found beauty in them instead.
With that, I may say that there is no silver lining in hopeless situations, if we choose to keep our eyes on this decaying world and forget how to be grateful.
But how can we be truly grateful in the middle of poverty?
Even in their dire situation, Gray pointed out that the silver lining is seeing beauty in the faces of the children. She sees a bright future for these innocent individuals that one day, they could be catalysts for change.
She encourages everyone to practice gratefulness to see the beauty, and that beauty is called hope.
Now, it’s our choice to dive in poverty or wallow in hope.
How to See Our Situation with a Silver Lining
Catriona has used children as an illustration of hope. But this Christmas, our real hope goes beyond the children.
It started with a Child who grew up and lived a blameless life, yet faced injustice and death for the things he didn’t do and deserve.
Sounds familiar with our world today, right?
But this very Man never blamed his persecutors. He chose to forgive and love. He also said that the ones poor in spirit are blessed because the kingdom of heaven is theirs (Matthew 5:3).
We are blessed, even if we’re poor financially or spiritually, because we can have the kingdom of heaven through Jesus Christ. In the language and perfect plan of our all knowing God, there is beauty in poverty, in injustice, in suffering, and even in death.
And this is hope.
When loving, forgiving, and moving on seems impossible, this Man demonstrated it’s possible for us to live such life.
When situations and people strip us off, we feel abused and empty.
But you know what?
They can’t take away our hope because we have God.
More Than Silver Linings
But before we have the promised kingdom for the poor, we need to have Jesus Christ.
He’s not only our silver lining.
If we can put our hope in money and people, how much more to Someone who’s more precious than gold?
How to be grateful and see the beauty in poverty?
By having faith and putting hope in the One who saves us from our sins, forgives and loves us unconditionally, and gives everlasting life.
If we hope because of what we see, it’s not hope. If we hope in what we don’t see, we will wait for it patiently (Romans 8:25).
When was the last time you practiced gratefulness?
When was the last time you hoped in God?
Share your story and spread the real hope this Christmas season. 🙂