Have you ever noticed similar themes popping up in your life over and over again, leaving you wondering what the heck they all mean?
Over the past few weeks, I have been encountering similar stories of financial or social pressures that all lead to one overarching storyline: all the people trusted the Lord to provide, and they acted out of faith.
I can’t remember how many days ago it was when I read about when Jesus observed the little old woman and the rich coming to the temple to give their tithe. It was such a powerful picture of how someone, who truly had nothing, was trusting God and fully lived out the command to sacrifice all we have to the Lord.
If you’re not familiar with the story (Mark 12:41-44), it consisted mainly of two different types of people: the rich class and a little old widow. Jesus was sitting at the temple across from where people in the area would stop and donate money to the temple treasury. He witnessed many rich people giving large sums to the temple, but then a little old woman, who was a widow, walked up to what today would be a donation basket or box. She put in “two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents”.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of widows in the Bible, I instantly think of them as being poor, humble, and not having very much. Jesus witnessed this great act of faith and responded by saying this:
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”Mark 12:43-44 (NIV)
Those two verses truly brought me to my knees. We have so much to live on, even with me completely losing my job, and yet what are we doing to give back to God? We can’t really afford to tithe right now because we can’t really make our bills, but how is that trusting the Lord to provide?
I implore you to ask yourselves this right now: shouldn’t we be giving back to him, despite of our circumstances? If God doesn’t change, why should our hearts for Him change?
This is not meant to guilt-trip anyone reading this, or force someone to make a rash decision that may not be what the Lord is calling them to do. God speaks to us all differently, and every person’s level of uncomfortable is different! But let me also ask you this: how far into the uncomfortable are you willing to go in order to fully learn dependency on God?
We decided to give one of our stimulus checks back to the church because we knew we weren’t the only ones struggling. We knew there were people in our congregation who didn’t just lose one job, but TWO. We knew that by trusting God to provide and giving back what belonged to Him in the first place, we would be doing what He’s calling us to do, instead of listening to the pressures of the world telling us to save and practice self-preservation.
So I will ask this question again: how far into the uncomfortable are you willing to go in order to fully learn dependency on God?
If I had to answer the question, I don’t know what I’d say. But at least this is a start.