The Richest Lady in Town

 In Blog, Pam Cavanaugh

I have been going through my books, organizing and getting rid of those I don’t need. This exercise drew me back to a book I read years ago; and I mean years ago. It was a book by Joyce Landorf entitled The Richest Lady in Town. I truly do not remember anything in this book except one story she told. It has always stuck with me.

She tells of a woman whose daughter came to her saying she needed a white fancy dress for a particular function. This daughter had no clue that the family had fallen on hard times financially. But the mother said okay.

In the next few days the mother presented her daughter with a beautiful white flowing organdy gown. As the daughter walked past the dining room, she noticed the white organdy curtains that used to hang over the windows were gone! That daughter had the richest mother in the neighborhood.

This past weekend we had company, and the woman asked me where I got a particular cabinet I have in my dining room. Just speaking of the lady who owned this cabinet brought all kinds of emotions to my heart. I speak of a lady named Lizzy Wade. She lived on the corner in the small rural town where my husband was a pastor years ago in Arkabutla, MS. This lady did not have much in the way of things, but she had a heart that overflowed for others. She would make pots of vegetable soup and give it away to lots of people around the community.

As you would come into this small town, Miss Lizzie’s house was the place many stopped to sit on her front porch. My two sons spent many hours on that porch conversing with Lizzy and other adults, and I know that was part of the training for what The Lord had planned for their lives today.

Lizzy was the most selfless, sacrificing, and giving person I have known. But the women above did not do these things for show or gain. Their riches stemmed from hearts towards others, not for their own glory. I know that Lizzy did these things from a heart which loved her Lord, and He guided her life for good for His glory. The last time we visited her home and saw her was the day she passed away. My husband said to her, “I wish we had spent more time with you.” To which she replied, “That’s okay Pastor. I’m just grateful for what I got!” Safe to say she was the richest lady in town!

Romans 2:4 and 5 says, “Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgement will be revealed.”

My dear friends, the world apart from Christ has no knowledge of the riches in the heart that displays God’s glory and not its own. So much emptiness is paraded by us every day and lifted up as something to grasp. So I present to you the real riches.

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How us searchable are His judgements and His ways past finding out.” (Romans 11:33) “In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:7) “But God, for His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, has made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:4,5,10)

This is the grace that guides the heart for His glory and not its own.

I am not advocating that it is wrong for you to obtain riches. The Lord daily rains material and financial wealth on the just and the unjust. But as Psalm 49:11 tells us, our inward thought should not be that our houses, lands, money, etc. will continue forever, this is folly.

Upon reflection, my heart is overwhelmed by God’s grace upon my life. My children walk in the truth. My husband loves me unconditionally. The Lord daily loads me with benefits. He has forgiven me and set me on a straight path for His glory. I must stop and say, “Thank You, I am the richest lady in town!

Pam Cavanaugh

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