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Out Of Poverty

She didn’t have anything.  She was probably all crumpled up with tender joints and dim with age.  Her posture low due to her poverty and humility.  She was the poorest of the poor.  And yet…she gave out of her nothing and gave God everything.

I haven’t been able to get this poor widow woman from Mark 12 out of my mind for the past week.  “She gave out of her poverty.” We have no concept of what poverty really looks like or feels like.

When I was a little girl growing up in Kenya, we would drive by a very large slum area every single day on our way to school.  The stench was unbearable, and the filth unimaginable.  There were no satellite dishes or television antenna poking out from the sea of flat roofs and tin structures.  There was nothing but mud, manure, mounds of garbage, and smokey charcoal fires.  This is poverty.

I know what it’s like when finances are tight.  There have been many times when we’ve had to cut back on our spending and watch every penny.  But the poverty I witnessed in Kenya is something I will never identify with.

Mark 12:41-44

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury.  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.  Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, 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.”

There is a great deal of conviction in that passage of Scripture.  Giving out of poverty.  My heart is aching.  How much of my life have I given to Christ?  How much priority do I give to the eternal, and what place do material things have in my little world?  Have I given so much of myself that it hurts?  Can I say that my day has been well spent?  Is the source of my security in how much I have here on earth, or in the steadfast faithfulness of God?  What am I attached to?

The poor widow had nothing of material wealth, and yet she still gave.  The things of this world meant nothing to her.  Her life was more than her current circumstances.  Her priority was God, and giving him everything, knew her source was not in the copper coins, but in her creator.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit.”

When we give out of our poverty God sees, and he is honored.

I wonder if perhaps Jesus is not simply implying monetary poverty, but spiritual and emotional poverty as well?  What if his message in this little blip of history is that he is not impressed when we give ourselves out of our natural giftings and comfort zones, but when we give of ourselves beyond what we have naturally or comfortably?  I think God is more interested in a heart that is completely dependent upon him, and willing to give, even when there is nothing left to spend.  I think God is not impressed so much with how beautiful the gift is, but how beautiful is the heart of the giver.

I feel challenged to take my eyes off of the natural, off of those things I can see and touch, and begin allowing God to lead and direct my steps, even if he takes me outside of my comfort zone.  I believe he wants us to give ourselves out of our most impoverished parts.  Because when we give out of our nothing, we give God our everything.

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One Response to “Out Of Poverty”

  1. sister sheri says:

    Such a good word, Amy! A lot of times we wait until we are blessed to give what we have… and God wants all of us and all that he has given us.

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