“this poor widow has put in more than all the others…(Lk 21:3).
Sometimes I think pretty highly of myself. Probably too highly of myself. I have an issue in my heart and it stems from a place of my own desire for glory. It’s a place in my heart that thinks I’m deserving. It’s a place that believes, after all, I should be chosen.
Jesus doesn’t care much for self-righteousness. In fact, Jesus does not point out the large gifts given by those whose hearts were self-righteous, but instead, He draws attention to a heart seen only by Him. A heart that put in very little, but gave all she had. I want to be that kind of woman.
For someone who has had a great amount of success in ministry, it became easy for me to find satisfaction in what I could build because I had something tangible to show for it. Now, when I look in the mirror I see a woman whose heart has been caught up by God. A woman who does not have much to show for what she can do for God, but instead has an offering to give back to God out of her own poverty. I am learning that the best kind of person I can be for God is the one who learns to listen well, sit quietly and live peaceably. This is when I am my very best me.
We get our priorities out of balance when we make our lives about what we can pursue, the boxes we can check and the rungs we can climb on the ladder. In many ways, I feel like God took my hands and feet and flung them off the ladder I was climbing because He had to take my heart somewhere deeper. He had to go with me to the place of my own poverty.
I am learning that what I have to offer is not something great, as I sometimes wrongly believe, but really it’s just an offering of what He has already given me. I am only giving back to Him what He has given to me. This is His love.
I have noticed that some people respond to me differently now because I have “published a book.” Truth is, whatever I write comes out of my own poverty as a blessing back to God. I am no one special or important. You and I, no matter what title we carry, the degree we hold, publication or whatever else we look towards to give us false significance in the world are all beggars at the door of God’s mercy.
When the Lord looks down on His people He esteems the widow, stay at home mom and elementary teacher the same as the CEO of a large company, pastor, professor or movie star. He doesn’t look at what we do, He looks into our hearts and cares about who we are.
Today I want to give out of my own poverty as a daughter of the King loved by God. Not because I have made myself worthy of His love, but simply because He has grace for women like me who don’t always get it right.
Jesus, you love me. I want to offer up a sacrifice of praise in my heart for you. Jesus, I want to be made into your image. I want to bear your image to the world. I want the very best parts of me to be what you have put in me through your love. Jesus, love others through me, I pray today, Amen.