Saturday, March 08, 2008

All I Have

Just after we returned from Moldova, I found a devotional book in a used bookstore called Expecting Joy: Devotions for Mothers-to-Be. This has been a wonderful addition to my quiet times, and it almost always has something that really applies to my situation. This morning's devotional was so good that I just want to post the whole thing - it particularly speaks to me, but it could apply to anyone's situation.
All I Have
All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on. Luke 21:4

A group of 18- to 25-year-olds, full of the Lord and full of His strength, came to help our new church. They sowed random acts of kindness to show the love of God and to make our church's presence known in the community. There were service projects, free car washes, soda and orange juice giveaways, one-on-one witnessing, and a free family festival. I participated fully with these young people, known as the "E-Team" (Evangelism Team). I experienced all of the fun and all of the work.
A year later, when the E-Team came again, my situation was different. I was pregnant, with a mid-wife's orders to take it easy. I was supposed to be resting, so how could I wash cars, paint and clean for a local ministry, and stand on a street corner giving away soda? My husband, my pastor, and many of the E-Teamers insisted that I stay home. They used my home for meals and a meeting place so I saw them at the end of each day when they returned full of excitement. I rejoiced in what God was doing through them, but a part of me was sad because I was not able to do it with them.
The E-Teamers were youthful and strong, giving their all out of the abundance of their energies. I, on the other hand, was exhausted after only wiping the kitchen counter. I felt like I was lying around doing nothing; I wanted to do so much more.
The story of the widow's offering in Luke 21 offers encouragement for situations like mine. The widow did her part, which was valuable in the sight of the Lord. In the same way, I was doing my part, which was also valuable in His sight. My part happened to be equivalent to about two very small, copper coins (Luke 21:2). But at that time, it was all I could give.
Our season of life changes when we have children. We are about to give birth to little lives that need to be loved and discipled day after day. It starts with the dirty diapers and 2 a.m. feedings. Then it grows into questions like: "Where do butterflies come from?" And progresses to questions like: "What is heaven, and will I go there?" This is the time to focus our energy at home. God will give us opportunities to share our faith and serve others, but it's okay if it isn't the same method that it used to be. God is faithful to use us where we are.
These days will not last forever; they will fly by. Before we realize were the time went, our children will be the ones out there doing service projects - full of energy and full of the presence of the Lord, giving all they have to serve God.

For further study ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
What a beautiful story and a beautiful way to capture the transition of this time. I have been discouraged because I feel like our uncertain circumstances and my physical limitations are keeping me from being able to do anything useful for anybody. But God knows my circumstances... Not only does He know them, but He Himself chose them for me. So He knows what I'm capable of and asks only that I do my best for Him with what I have. Right now, what I have may not seem like much, but I want to use it to honor Him. So I will keep a joyful heart, love and encourage my husband in every way that I can, and keep my body and spirit healthy in order to allow Eli to have the best start he can. It may only be worth 2 cents, but that's all I have to give, and God is pleased when I do.


Jessica said...

What a great post and perspective. I feel that way so often, but had never thought of it in terms of the widow's offering. Thank you for sharing!

Jackie said...

Thanks for sharing- I totally feel the same way with not much to give, and anticipating all the responsibilities that are to come. But I do feel this is what I was meant for and that it is an extremely high calling to nurture and disciple children of God.