Just thought I’d share with you guys an experience that I encountered last week during my time at the youth camp in the village. This was my journal entry for August 19. This is the story of the richest man that I have ever met…….
Something incredible happened to me today as I was walking in the dust through the village on my way to eat lunch. I saw an old man walking my direction with a purpose. He had no shirt on and his shorts were torn leaving his backside open to the air. This man was rail thin with some sort of painful-looking skin disease. He looked like he was on his last day in this world. But what this man proceeded to say to me assured me that, although it might be his last day in this world, he has a place prepared for him that far surpasses anything that this world has to offer. He was incredibly poor materially and in health but not in God. He greeted me and said in Chichewa (the local language) “Hello my brother…Psalm 150!” I was a little confused but continued to listen to him. What he said next blew me away and I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. He went on to quote the whole of Psalm 150 with more joy in his voice and fire in his eyes than any person I have ever seen. This is what Psalm 150 says,
Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.
This man spoke these words to me with a joy and satisfaction that all the good things in this world combined can not give the richest, most gifted, talented, and loved person. Although this man had no physical strength, the joy of the Lord was his strength. Although he was one of the most materially poor human beings I have ever seen, he was rich…. far richer that me. The richest man I’ve ever met and possibly the richest man on earth. By the looks of his bodily condition, this man will soon die…..but he knows what awaits him. I am positive this guy will be in heaven and he will never ache there, he will never hunger or thirst, and he won’t ever be naked because he will be clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ. And I can assure you that, although I don’t know his name, his name will be known by many in heaven, especially the One that he praises now on earth. Wow. I will never be the same.
This experience has shaken me to the core and I am far more assured now more than ever that we don’t need stuff to have joy in God. We don’t need anything but Him. This man had one eye that was badly damaged and the other couldn’t look straight. He truly had nothing but he knew the reality of Psalm 150 and the majesty of our great God. He understood that it has nothing to do with us and everything to do with praising Jesus with every moment that we have on this earth. This guy had another day to live and breathe and he was going to spend it living out Psalm 150. “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”