Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44 NLT
The Widows Gift
Do you ever feel like you have nothing to offer?
I can only imagine how the widow felt that day in the Temple, watching the others pass by on their way to the collection box, dressed in their luxurious clothes. As she watched them donate large sums of money to the Temple funds, making sure everyone noticed their generosity, I wouldn’t be surprised if the widow felt embarrassed and inadequate.
All she had to offer was a tiny amount – two copper coins. It hardly seemed worth her while. She could have held onto her money out of shame that she had nothing more to offer. She could have kept it for food or other necessities. She could have left the Temple behind forever, feeling that she didn’t belong with all these people who had so much more to give.
But instead, she chose to offer what she had.
Quietly she dropped in her two little coins and went on her way – no fuss, no song and dance. It seemed that her offering went unnoticed, and I’m sure she would have preferred it that way.
But Jesus Saw
But Jesus saw, and God sees the heart!
I wonder if she ever found out what He said to his disciples afterward or how He honored her gift.
Because not only did Jesus see, but He knew.
He knew the struggles she faced – the pain of losing her husband and the extent of her poverty. He knew exactly how much her tiny gift had cost her.
In earthly terms it was insignificant, but in heavenly terms, it was treasure because she offered what she had.
God Sees Our Struggles and Knows
For us, the struggle might not be that we’re poor materially speaking. It might be that we’re so busy with family responsibilities and the pressures of work that we don’t have a lot of time to offer. It might be that we look at others around us and see how gifted and talented they are. We may feel that we can never compare and that we have nothing to offer.
But God sees the heart, and He knows. He sees our struggles, and He knows the pressures we face. He knows that what might seem like a little thing to others can be a significant sacrifice for us, and He values it when we offer what we have to Him, no matter how little it may seem.
You may feel like you don’t have much to offer, but why not offer what you do have to Him today?
Give a small amount of money to help a good cause, take a few minutes to pray for someone in need, or offer a kind word or a smile to someone who could use some encouragement. And do it for Him – out of love and gratitude for all that He has offered so freely for us.
He sees our little offerings and He values them, and the impact can be greater than we’ll ever know.
So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. (Romans 12:1 GNT)