Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked--I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
I was an outsider for 51 years. I believed in God, but didn't know Jesus. Even so, He knew me. He loved me in spite of myself. AMTC was born in my before-Christ years, and it flourished.
I married my college boyfriend, and he became a physician. Our family seemed to flourish, too: prestigious careers, good daughters, nice houses and lots of stuff. Our lives became a series of accomplishments and acquisitions.
But underneath the success was failure: an insecurity that shadowed every triumph; an irritation that gnawed on every comfort; an emptiness that followed every purchase; a selfishness that crowded every friendship; an isolation that threatened every union.
My marriage became a war zone, and our children were its victims. My colleagues became competitors, and AMTC's ground got divided. My husband became dissatisfied, and he sought greener pastures. Our possessions became chains, and we struggled with the load.
At first, I didn't know I was wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. As years progressed, the hollowness of victory outside of God became apparent.
But by these struggles, I, an outsider, came to Christ. How? If Jesus is 'The Truth' (John 14:6) and 'The Rock' (1 Corinthians 10:4), then on every path opposed to The Truth, He becomes a 'Stone of stumbling' (1 Peter 2:8):
'And whoever falls on this Stone will be broken: but on whomever It falls, It will grind him to powder' (Matthew 21:44). Yes, I was broken. But please rejoice for me! Better broken than crushed. Because in undeniable insufficiency, I found undeniable surplus. I asked for help, and Jesus came.
Within two years, my daughters and son-in-law committed to Christ as well.
To Be Continued...
* Previous AMTC 2-Part Devotion Series, Outsiders Looking In: http://amtcdevotions.org/outsiders-looking-in-part-1
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Outsiders series.