Growing into adulthood in the age of the “prosperity gospel” there was the misuse of 3 John v. 2 about prospering “as your soul prospers.”
A newer translation says this:
2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. (NIV)
I don’t know about the whole “name it claim it” deal, but I do know there is a prosperity spiritually I carry with me. That carries over into the rest of my world when it seems I am being driven to despair.
This current week has been a weak when anything that could go wrong just about has gone wrong. Major things. Our van bit the dust so we needed to get another one. Our old furnace finally bit the dust and we have gone two nights without heat during the coldest week of the winter thus far. All at a time when we were finally getting our heads slightly above water financially.
Several things play into this. There are some spiritual attacks that directly aim at physical and financial issues. Our church is aiming at some pretty daring things spiritually, calling people into a level of spiritual maturity, growth, and prayer. Raise up American Christians who actually take their Christianity seriously and there are ensuing skirmishes that happen. They are little battles meant to drive us back into mediocrity.
We are aware of those battles.
But another thing I am so acutely aware of today is the wealth I truly have in my life. When my wife put on Facebook that our furnace was out, we immediately got responses through Facebook and texts and phone calls. Incredible friends who offered us a place to stay, space heaters to borrow… anything. My wife’s boss offered to go stay with her parents just so we could use her house for a night.
Friends walked me through diagnosing the problems on my furnace before I knew I needed to call a repair company.
There was so much care and compassion, I have only been immensely grateful this week. My soul prospers.
I face financial cliffs that don’t match the government, but they overwhelm me. Yet, in this, I am so full of joy. The presence of God has shown up in our friends and family. I know all the other provision will come because my soul is really getting along well.