By Andy Sims
I met Santiago on my first trip to Cuba. The house church he leads meets in a converted garage that overflows onto the street. His job as a Havana defense attorney earns the same $30 per month stipend that everyone in that communist country receives. He has a beautiful, young family of four, but lacks most of the comforts we take for granted. Santiago is teaching me a lot about dependence.
I got a glimpse into how different our circumstances were when he told the story of his wedding. Fresh out of college, Santiago was eager to get married but had no money for a wedding or for their life together. Things like that take time in Cuba. The waiting list for government housing can take years.
“I knew God put her into my life,” he said with a smile, “so I prayed.” Convinced there was a lesson in his story for me, I dug deeper. He recalled the exact words, maybe because he’d prayed them many times. “Lord, you are my only resource.”
My Only Resource
Americans like me always have options. Even though we like to complain, opportunity is around every corner. The problem with our prayers is that God is rarely our only resource. There’s always a plan B. God becomes a convenient “safety net” in case our original plan falls through.
Desperation is often the precursor to a powerful movement of God. Yet to openly declare such poverty is an affront to our dignity. Still, it’s much better to need a miracle than just to want one.
Having more resources may actually hinder us. We don’t have to depend on God day-to-day. We quit expecting the impossible. We laugh—like Sarah—instead of daring to dream big. How much are we missing?
There’s not much difference between “I could never do that” and “You are my only resource.” Either way, we’re empty handed. Our preoccupation with self simply needs to change into a desperate reliance on God. You will discover real power in God’s promises just like Sarah did—and that’s nothing to laugh about.
Andy Sims is the director of leadership development for Lifeline Christian Mission (www.lifeline.org). He and his wife, Mindy, live in Cincinnati, Ohio. They have three grown daughters and one granddaughter.