In high school, I was the kid who didn't party. It didn't interest me, and I was never invited to any parties, so I was never exposed to it. It took me until about sophomore year of high school to realize that the parties people were talking about weren't innocent birthday parties and pool parties. I didn't even know fake ID's existed and that high schoolers could get them until later in my high school career. Even though I was enrolled in public elementary, middle, and high schools, I was pretty sheltered. College came around, and even though I went to a Christian university, the party scene was still around. That surprised me, because one of the many reasons I chose a private Christian school was to get away from the party people that had filled my 13 years of public education.
Here's the thing I found about partying. It just is not a satisfying lifestyle. No matter how much you drink, or what you do, you always wake up feeling empty the next morning. Maybe you legitimately feel like you have a hole in your memory...that's never fun. Maybe you wake up and feel regret...which also isn't fun. Maybe you wake up and think, "that seriously was not worth it." And then comes the shame. The whole, "what have I done. What did I do and why can't I remember it. Why did I ever think that would be worthwhile." That hole that you thought would be filled..it wasn't. In a sense, it kinda seems like it got bigger as the night went on. And once you realize that, that's when you break a bit.
The beautiful thing about brokenness is that it leaves you open and vulnerable to whatever God has to show you. In Matthew 5:3, Jesus states, "blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Well..what the heck does that mean and how does it relate to an unsatisfying lifestyle? How can you be poor in spirit? Here's what Oswald Chambers says in My Utmost for His Highest.
At the basis of Jesus Christ's Kingdom is the unaffected loveliness of the commonplace. The thing I am blessed in is my poverty. If I know I have no strength of will, no nobility of disposition, then Jesus says--Blessed are you, because it is through this poverty that I enter His Kingdom. I cannot enter His Kingdom as a good man or woman, I can only enter it as a complete pauper.
Based off of this, being poor in spirit simply means being at the place when you have nothing but Jesus to depend on. When you have reached that point when you realize, "alright God. I'm done. I've lost everything and my only option is you," that's when you're poor in spirit.
For me, I'm always reminded of the followers of Christ I met in Africa when I read Matthew 5:3. The people who literally have very little..but they have Jesus, and he is so much more than enough. The people who radiate joy, even though they live in what Americans would deem 'uninhabitable conditions,' because they have Jesus and they don't need or want much else. To them, God is everything. You see, it's when we are at our weakest and most vulnerable state when we realize how much we need God. That's when we realize just how blessed we are to even have such an option. But it requires being broken enough to fully let God work in your life so that you can fully accept all that he has to offer. Because when God's the only option, you'll take whatever the offer is.