Offering of Beggars

I was chatting with a friend the other day (over my ridiculously large iced latte with whipped cream) about our time. There never seems to be enough of it. We both like to journal and paint in our Bibles as a reflection of what we have learned from sermons and Bible studies. She lamented about how far behind she was in a current study. She had considered skipping it and waiting until a new study began, because the thought of starting a week behind was overwhelming.

I can relate. I usually had time to read the devotionals each day, but didn’t have time to meditate and create like I wanted to. So, sometimes, I just put it off entirely.
Jesus is so worthy of my BEST. I don’t want to give Him the leftovers of my day. I don’t want to give Him only a few minutes when He deserves an hour. But as I mulled over the conversation with my friend, I prayed for enlightenment about our problem. What if there was never enough time? What if a month went past and we never cracked open our Bibles because life had simply taken over and we didn’t have time to give Him what we thought He would be pleased with?

I’ve always thought of the widow’s mite as a story for my financial heart. And in so many ways, it is. But what if it also applied to my time? She could have stored up all her mites until she had an offering worthy for a King. Geez, she could have saved up until she had at least more than one. 
 
Maybe she was beating herself up when she put it in. Maybe she looked around with shame. Maybe she cringed, waiting for the religious leaders to make a scene. Maybe she put it in an offering envelope so no one could see what she gave. But Jesus wasn’t ashamed of her.
And instead of reprimanding her for her measly sacrifice, Jesus commended her for giving all she had. He didn’t view it as leftovers. He didn’t view it as unworthy. He blessed her and lifted her up as a beautiful example in front of his disciples.

This gives me hope that I am so much harder on myself about this issue than anyone else is- especially to the One Who matters. He is the One Who gave us time.He gave us the faith to believe in Him. He’s the One Who gave us His Word. He gave us the provisions of paint, bleed-less pens and stickers, as a way to engage with Him. And He gives us a heart to seek Him.

And instead of giving us a mandate for how long we seek Him, He simply says that those who seek Him with all their heart will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). Even our best offering will never be worthy of Him. He doesn’t NEED it… but He desires it. So maybe our offering is more for us than for Him. To realize our need. To acknowledge our dependence on Him. To refocus our priorities and our affections on the One Who deserves them most but Who won’t compete with the iPhone and Facebook.

Let’s stop looking at ourselves and what we have to offer, and fix our gaze on the Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.