"Winning the lottery isn't always what it's cracked up to be," says Evelyn Adams, who won the New Jersey lottery not just once, but twice (1985, 1986), to the tune of $5.4 million. Today the money is all gone and Adams lives in a trailer.
Most of us have not won the lottery, at least we haven't won millions in the lottery. The poor gal quoted above won twice. You'd think she'd be set for life, but it hasn't worked out that way.
William "Bud" Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 but now lives on his Social Security.
A former girlfriend successfully sued him for a share of his winnings. A brother was arrested for hiring a hit man to kill him, hoping to inherit a share of the winnings.
Wow, winning $16 million almost cost this fellow his life instead of setting him up for life! One man has studied the plight of former lottery winners and has concluded that many winners have a hard time with the psychology of sudden riches:
"Often they can keep the money and lose family and friends -- or lose the money and keep the family and friends -- or even lose the money and lose the family and friends."
Money, especially big-time money, is a mirage in the desert of life's difficulty. And we often think we can make it through the desert if we can just stumble into that mirage and find it to be an oasis. But that kind of attitude about money is nothing more than a mirage. Big money, suddenly attained, attracts financial vultures posing as friends and can make us think we are now above the problems of living. We thought we wanted to become rich to escape our problems and to be "set for life" to do the things that make life really living. We find that our riches don't come from sudden wealth but from the One who faithfully empties the coffers of Heaven to meet our needs, as they arise, in the course of living. We are not set for life by being set free from financial need. We are set for life when we come alive to the Creator, who is also our provider. He is the one who faithfully doled out just enough manna for His people to eat each day and He is still our Provider today!
Proverbs 17:16 Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?