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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Blessed Are The Poor

“Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!” Jesus’ words echoed over the mountain side.

Could He have said anything more astonishing?

I am truly happy and blessed when I realize I have no hope unless an unseen Being is real? Not only real, but everything He claims to be – immensely good and perfect? The Kingdom of heaven belongs to me when I am poor? When I realize no matter how hard I work, I can attain no spiritual value? I am truly happy when I realize everything I can see, touch, hear and taste is a vapor; but what is spiritual (unseeable, un-hearable and untouchable) will never fade away?

Essentially what appears to be firm and sure isn’t; and what appears to be extremely hard to grasp, like a vapor, is eternal.

For the last five years, I have worked on applying the Beatitudes, Jesus’ declarations of how to be happy on earth, to my life. In the next few monthly articles, I thought I would share what I have learned about being happy and blessed from Jesus’ point of view.

Sometimes I fleetingly wonder if there is only one level of pain on earth. I wonder if all humans are subject to the exact same amount of pain and the only difference is how they interact with it. Then I tell myself I am out of my mind. That it is an entirely ridiculous idea because clearly someone who has just lost an infant in childbirth is experiencing much more pain than parents joyfully celebrating the arrival of a healthy baby. Wouldn’t thinking otherwise be ludicrous?

On the days I think such things, I wonder if Jesus could have just as easily said, “Blessed are those who are in want because it is only in wanting when humans are smart enough to pay attention to the only thing worth having.”

It’s on these days when I wonder if the deepest pain in all our hearts only comes from one source – our intense separation from what is good and pure and holy. I wonder if separation from Him is an equal pain in all of us and the only differences between us are whether we realize the source of our intense pain and what we choose to do about it. I wonder if our intense misery is simply because we are not in heaven.

It is on these days when I am grateful God led me down a path where I have experienced my great need for Him. It is a path where I am unable to cover my pain with the superficial joys of this world. It was, after all, on an extended fast when I discovered how much pain even something as simple as eating an apple can cover.

How blessed are those who are destitute in spirit, because the kingdom from heaven belongs to them! Matthew 5:3 ISV

Is the real difference in humanity only how much we recognize our pain and how willing we are to experience it before running to an earthly comfort to help us forget how intensely helpless we are to entirely escape it?

Is not the admission of our pain vital before we recognize our need for a savior? Someone to help us escape our sorrow?

It is in my greatest poverty that I experience my deepest intimacy with the One who is unseen. It is in the moments when my heart is shattered in a million pieces in devastating disappointment as another of my earthly comforts so deeply disappoints me that I realize my only possession is inside me and can never be taken away.

Blessed are those who recognize they are spiritually helpless. The kingdom of heaven belongs to them. Matthew 5:3 GWT

When it comes to eternal control over my life, I am as helpless as a baby. Jesus must do all the work for me. I cannot redeem myself. I cannot pay for even one of my sins. I certainly cannot save myself from the lot of them. In my greatest weakness, I find strength as I turn to Him, the only hope for my salvation. For there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby I can be saved than the name of Jesus.

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