I don’t mean to sound like an old time horse trader, but I have been summarily blessed with good teeth. If you are not one of those in my camp, then you know that’s not something to be taken for granted, period. In fact, one dentist once told me that the thickness on the enamel of my choppers is only about one in 100,000. Translated, that means I have really no viable excuse of any cavities. But I have a few, cavities that is.
Which means I’ve taken my teeth for granted….
Until now. This year I had to get my first (hopefully only) “crown” for a fractured tooth. OUCH to both the process and the bank account!
I’m thinking of an older friend from church many years ago who had saved a sum of money for some dental work, when she unmistakably heard her Lord tell her to give it to someone. All of it.
WHAT?!? But, Lord?!! (We’re all really good at “but, Lords”.) She did, however, obey, and of course, the money returned back to her very quickly, from an unexpected source, and if I remember correctly, it was a significantly larger amount than she had sacrificed. Now, of course, the Almighty doesn’t always choose to work that way…
I was reminded of her account when I read the one about the poor widow who put two small coins into the church plate while everyone else was chucking in their supposedly more impressive amounts. Jesus had this to say~~
“And He called His disciples [to Him] and said to them, Truly and surely I tell you, this widow, [she who is] poverty-stricken, has put in more than all those contributing to the treasury. For they all threw in out of their abundance; but she, out of her deep poverty, has put in everything that she had—[even] all she had on which to live.”
I’m wondering what was actually going on in her mind when she did that…? When you figure what widows had to go through in that culture, it was not a pretty picture, and her picture must have been obvious even if you didn’t have the massive spiritual insight of the Son of God to work with. And I’d like to know how the Almighty provided for her later, like He did for my faithful friend’s teeth. Or maybe He provided in some way other than financial, since His picture was much bigger than her’s.
Now on the other hand, I’m all about personal boundaries, which need to be prayerfully set and judiciously guarded. Not everyone has to just dump their life savings onto the next missionary that walks by. But sometimes I think I have allowed my “boundaries” to become barriers to God’s blessings, not only to others, but for myself!
“And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday.”
It’s not just about not hoarding a surplus; it’s about giving into a place of sacrifice. That’s a skill and a discipline, not merely a calling. And it has to do with much, much more than money. How about time? Talent? Effort? Here’s one—unwarranted forgiveness of that guy next door…or the pew behind you?
That’s when I find out that His bigger picture has had my smaller one in mind all the time.