March 1, 2011
The Widow's Mite and Mighty Faith
"Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny" (Mark 12:41-42, NIV).
Friend to Friend
Beatrice woke as the morning sun peeked through the closed shutters of her sparse bedroom. Every joint in her tired old body creaked like a grinding wheel in dire need of good oiling.
Her arthritic hands rubbed sleepy eyes and instinctively reached to the empty space where her husband slept so many years ago.
"Another Sabbath to worship Jehovah," she smiled. "Oh LORD, thank you for the health and strength to travel to your house today. Thank you for all the many blessings that you have showered on this old woman."
Beatrice slipped on her worn woolen garment, wound her grey streaked hair around her head and splashed yesterday's water on her wrinkled face. Slipping her hand into her money pouch hidden behind a grouping of jars, she fumbled her fingers to gather an offering for the temple coffers.
A heavy sigh escaped her lips as her hand retrieved two small coins. She put her hand back in the pouch and ran her fingers from side to side. This time she came up empty.
Looking at the two small coins in her hand she continued her conversation with God. "I wish I had more to give you today. But LORD, this is all I have." Not once did Beatrice wonder how she would buy wheat for her next meal. She knew God would provide. He always did.
Beatrice shuffled out the door and through the busy streets of Jerusalem. The population was more than doubled because of the Passover celebration. Jews from miles around gathered at the temple during the holy week.
People, people, everywhere people, Beatrice thought to herself. And not one notices an old worthless widow woman like me.
Beatrice kept her eyes down as she climbed the first set of steps to the Women's Court in the temple. I'm glad I'm not a man or priest, she mused to herself. I don't think I could climb all those stairs to get to the upper levels.
The widow made her way to the same offering receptacle she always used. When she raised her eyes to place the two small coins in the container, she noticed a man sitting right beside it. It was Jesus! It was too late to turn back or walk to another coffer. Color rose to her cheeks as she realized that the Teacher was watching her. Beatrice cringed with embarrassment as she dropped the two small coins into the large box. What must he think of me? She thought. Two copper coins.
When she looked up and met Jesus' gaze, he grinned from ear to ear and nodded his approval. Every winkle in her face crinkled as she returned the smile. But what he said next made her feel like a spry young girl again.
"Peter. John. James. Friends, come over here," Jesus called. "You're looking around at all these people dropping their coins in the temple treasury and I'm sure you have noticed some of the wealthy made large donations. At least they are hoping you've noticed. But I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more in the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth. That was no sacrifice at all. It was just surplus. But this woman gave out of her poverty," Jesus continued as he placed his hand on Beatrice's shoulder. "She gave all she had to live on. Her gift is more precious to God than all the others combined."
Beatrice gently bowed and turned to leave. Jesus laughed to himself thinking about what she would find in her money pouch the next day. Oh how God loved blessing His children.
Dear Father, thank You for the many blessings You have given me. I know that I could never out give You! Help me to trust You more with my finances and give You more than I ever have before. In Jesus' Name, Amen
Now It's Your Turn
I hope you have enjoyed my retelling of the story of the widow and her two small coins. It is easy to think of these stories as just stories. But this was a real woman, living in a real world of poverty. We don't know her name, but I've given her one so you could better walk in her shoes.
Have you ever been in a situation like this widow? Have you ever given a sacrificial gift like she did?
I'd love to hear how God blessed you when you did. Let's share on www.facebook.com/sharonjaynes.
Now here's a tough one. Is God calling you to give more that you have been giving in the past? If so, what's holding you back?
More from the Girlfriends
Today's devotion was taken from Sharon's book, What God Really Thinks about Women: Finding Your Significance Through the Women Jesus Encountered. Through the miracles and messages of Jesus, we discover just what God thinks about women. God's personal and perfect touch on your life is only a prayer away when you look to Him to loving exchange your heartache, hopelessness, or pain for the beauty of becoming everything He intended for you to be. Check out this book and fall in love with Jesus all over again!
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Tuesday, 01 March 2011.