It’s not fun to be needy. Needy people need stuff. From others. They need physical assistance or financial aid. They need a hot meal or a listening ear or wise counsel. They need to ask—and risk judgment, embarrassment, ridicule, scoffing, rejection, and even refusal.
Being needy is being constantly aware of lack: resources, health, wealth, knowledge, tools, stability, whatever. This is why we go about life collecting stuff: resources, health, wealth, knowledge, tools, stability, whatever—we are avoiding needy as much as we can.
Needy isn’t so easily avoided, however. Sure, we can cover it over, ignore it, call it something else. But needy is still there, whispering the truth that we want to deny: We are desperate for something more than what we have, more than what we are. We know we don’t measure up.
We think we will find the answer by running away from neediness; so we try. Running gets old, though, and when we stop to catch a breath, we are find neediness has followed us, carrying our less-than selves along for the ride.
But right there, in the needy place, Jesus speaks to us. The God of all creation speaks, saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3, ESV). Jesus says that those who are poor in spirit—worn out, weary, broken, spent—have the greatest of riches, the very kingdom of heaven.
This is what my pastor spoke about in service yesterday. And I can’t stop thinking about the paradox: The place of blessing is the place of need; the poor in spirit possess the kingdom of heaven.
Do I believe this? If I did, I would be at home with my needs—especially my spiritual poverty. I would see my neediness as a cue, a reminder of how much I need God to give me what I cannot obtain on my own. I need Him to do for me what I cannot do for myself. If I did believe this, I would no longer need to run about, collecting stuff to make myself feel better.
Jesus looks upon our frenzied collecting and says to us, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28, ESV). There’s no reason to run about collecting props when Jesus offers us the fullness of life with Him, right where we are in the needy place.
Where are you today? Are you running about? Are you busy collecting? Jesus offers everything we are searching for. We just have to ask. Today, I’m asking Jesus to help me stay in a place of need so I might experience the fullness of who He is.
“But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.” —Isaiah 66:2