In 2010, I took a trip with some Business Admin professors and peers to Egypt & Israel, which by the way, was the best trip EVER. We took a tour of Jerusalem and walked past a little door on the outside gate - I thought it was a play house for kids or a special house for little people [like the TV show!] The tour guide pointed it out and quoted this scripture from Mark.
Ready for a history lesson? They would close the main gates at night as self defense from potential attacks but would have a guard at the smaller door (called, "the eye of the needle") to let people in. Camels are tall and awkward, they are not fluid like a dog. It takes a lot of effort for the camel to bend, squat and maneuver through the tiny door, plus the merchant or traveler would have to remove all the bags from the camel first. That's a lot of effort. Ladies, if we were the traveler.. we would have pulled over, asked for directions and made it in time to get through the main gates before dark!
Jesus says that it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle then for a rich man to get into Heaven. Why is that? I think it's because we feel to much comfort and security in money. When that happens, we don't rely on God. If we're feeling upset or hurt, we'll go buy new shoes instead of deal with the real issue.
This pours into so many areas beyond finances. If we're consumed in a relationship and not keeping God as our First Love, the same principle applies. We have to take off the baggage, deal with our issues and not be afraid to get on our hands and knees to crawl through a situation or season of life. God wants to trust us with financial blessing and Christ-centered relationships but we have to prove our faithfulness and trustworthiness with what we have now.
Right before this, God challenged a rich man to give up everything to follow Him but the man did not want to let go of his great fortune so he walked away with his head down. He had forgotten that everything we have is on-loan from God... it's not actually ours to posses!
My challenge to us is to live with hands wide open! God will give and take away and that is okay! Life has ups and downs. Trust that God will use every situation to draw you closer to Him.
Are you spending your free time watching Netflix and eating ice cream? Yup. Or are you reading books and listening to podcasts? Lets just say that my couch has gotten some quality-Abby-time lately but trust me, I'm trying to find a balance between the two. Discover something new about your self - do something you love! Go on walks or bike rides. Volunteer for a local organization that you believe in!
As we learn to seek God and trust Him more, He'll know that He can trust us with the next big thing He's got planned. Don't rob God of the opportunity to bless you. Seek Him when finances are tight or you're lacking the companionship you want AND seek Him even more when you see blessings in your life!
The Eye of the Needle becomes a lot bigger when we put all of our trust in God.