Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Widow's Mites

For me, the story of the widow’s mites contrasts starkly against the story of Ananias and Sapphirra. Each tells a story of giving an offering to the Lord. Each, in turn, tell of its consequences.

The widow, under the glare of wealthy Pharisees, cast into the treasury the only worldly wealth she possessed. It was a small offering. It was her whole offering. The widow gave everything she had the Lord. On that day, she walked away from the temple as a witness that God rewards those who render to Him all that they have and are.

Meanwhile, Ananais and Sapphira received payment for something they had sold. No one knew how much they chose to held back. They easily could have held back as little as two mites. Nonetheless, when they laid their offering at Peter’s feet, he immediately recognized a whole offering had not been made. Holding back, even the smallest part, not only kept Ananais and Sapphira from standing as a witness of God, it kept them from ever. standing. again.

I find it interesting that we aren’t told the age of the widow. We aren’t told if the widow had children or grandchildren. But over the years, for me, the age of the widow has decreased from an aged, slumped over ninety year old to a mother in her late thirties with small children to feed. A widow young enough to be persuaded to keep at least one of the two mites . . . for her children’s sake.

Her willingness to give “all her living,” not only did God witness that her heart was all His, she testified to her children in Whom to look in order to live.

I’d like to think this widow’s specific act blessed her and her posterity one hundredfold beyond measure. Her one recorded act has certainly has blessed me!

The widow's mites has taught me that my giving must come from a giver’s heart. And that my giver’s heart must be filled with gratitude for God.

Some years ago, my husband and I were literally down to our last $59 dollars. My husband was self-employed. We were expecting child number eight. We had a house payment and a van payment and everything else that comes with home ownership and raising children. While I didn’t know it then, we had a choice to be like the widow or Ananias and Sapphira.

I learned that in circumstances so dim, it’s not easy to be like the widow. We live in a world that sympathizes with those who hold back a part. It would have been easier to justify giving part or half or none. But we choose to offer all. Even when our offering was so insignificantly small. 

What I felt during those struggling years, as we gave in our want, was a joy beyond anything I can describe – a sweet, sacred joy that has surpassed any giving I have done when I have had in abundance.

I hope to someday stand before the poor widow who gave her two mites and thank her for her act of faith which has blessed my living beyond measure.

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