our poverty and the poor widow

i wrote this little devotional for a MOPS meeting the other week. then the mops meeting got canceled because of snow. then i felt like God kept working on my heart about it, making me dwell on it and think about it. and then i’ve felt the Lord’s leading to share it here, with you all. i hope you don’t mind all the mom references if you’re not mom, i still think it speaks with the same relevance. God has been teaching me a lot about what it means to be poor and needy…but not in a way you’d first think::


 Mark 12:41-44

“And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums.  And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.  For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

The poor widow gave out of her poverty. Yes, Jesus is talking about her finances, but I think this can also speak about other “resources”. Sometimes I think of only myself with regards to those other resources-emotional, time, energy etc… How often do I hoard my emotional resources and think I don’t have time to meet with someone or commit to something?

I hold on to my schedule like the Pharisees held onto their gold. Giving only the extra. Or my personal to do list, or my plans for the day. BUT out of her poverty, the widow gave.

I think a lot of us, as moms, or even just with how busy we all are in today’s world, consider ourselves “in poverty” with our time and energy. We perceive and feel  like we are so exhausted we only have a tiny bit to give, and we hoard for ourselves as much time as we can. We even hear beloved speakers talk about “taking care of yourself first!, take care of number one!” and, I think that’s important too, don’t get me wrong, but I just want us to be careful as we think about it…

The thing is:

  1. God works the most when we are at the end of ourselves- when we give out of our poverty. When we are living in His strength and not in our own. (“The Lord is my strength…” Psalm 28:7) That old idea that the Lord doesn’t give us more then we can handle is false- He gives us more then we can handle, He brings us to the end of ourselves, so that we lean more into HIM.
  2. God cares more about PEOPLE than about schedules or plans. When we give time(especially when it feels like we don’t have any) to PEOPLE- to our children, to our family, to friends, to other moms, to strangers- that is the most valuable thing! God sees that gift just like Jesus saw the widow’s gift.

AND, I’m not saying that you should say yes to every little thing that someone(especially strangers) asks of you. I’m just wanting to remind you that our time is a resource just like our money. We need to think about it rightly.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

We need to use our time wisely and also remember- it is not ours. God knows our days and He has given us PEOPLE to fill those days.

Little ones we need to pour out our time on like a burnt offering.

Our Big boys who so often get ignored because of our to-do lists, we need to serve them with our time and love.

Friends and strangers who demand our attention or who just want someone to listen to them, it is a burden sometimes to take the time to be with them and listen, but God’s love is for His people, and I am just reminded that people is where God asks us to spend our time, to pour out our time for.

God places people in our life to serve with time, with energy, with love.

In college I remember a friend and dear mentor who taught me this lesson. (shout out to Rachel! love you!) She said if she was ever interrupted from homework to be with someone or be in a meaningful conversation with PEOPLE, she would let go of her plans and schedule and trust that God has brought this person into this moment and it’s more important than homework. She would trust that God would provide for her to have time to finish her homework-He knew she needed to get done- even if she had no idea how. And guess what, He always did. She always got her homework done and somehow time would grow and allow for what she needed to accomplish. It was the people who were important and she knew that deeply. I held onto that in college and it proved true for me too. And now  I want to remember that daily, I want to remember it when a little one interrupts me, when a friend calls for a long conversation, when I’m just too tired to serve again.

God blesses us when we give our time to His people.

He sees our time and energy offering, even if we feel poor and needy.

Here’s the thing though, we can’t do this with our own resources or ability. 1 Cor 1:8-9 says “we are under great pressure far beyond our ability to endure…but this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead…He will deliver us.”

And Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest…You will find rest for your souls.”

If you feel stretched and exhausted and like you don’t know how you can pour yourself out anymore, Go to Jesus. He alone can be the one to fill us. Having a blank schedule and no little people pulling on us won’t fill us up- even though the world tells us it will.

Let me repeat that, having a blank schedule and no little people pulling on us, won’t fill us up. that will not restore us the way we want to be restored!

Only Jesus can. Only through time in His word and praying.  Like Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” {now, if only i could actually do that… because i don’t know about you but i’m not waking up 3 hours before my babies every morning…!} 

I am challenged, and I want to challenge and encourage you to think about your time and how do you use it as an offering to the Lord. Do you see it as a burnt offering? Do you see yourself as “poor and needy”?  May these verses encourage your heart:

 

“Incline your ear O Lord and answer me, for I am poor and needy” Psalm 86:1

“Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:3

“For you have been a stronghold for the poor, a stronghold for the needy person in his distress, a refuge from the rain, a shade from the heat.”  Isaiah 25:4a

thanks for listening friends.

xoxo-kimberly renee

 

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One Response to our poverty and the poor widow

  1. Pamela Holderman March 24, 2017 at 1:28 pm #

    Awesome reminder. thanks

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