[Guest post by Jo Ann Erwin. This post is a part of the 2015 Devotional Diva Christmas series entitled, “Extraordinary Christmas.” It was originally published on Devotional Diva in 2014. I thought it was such a good message and so relevant to Christmas, that I had to use it again this year.]
On two occasions I have heard someone say “that is too good to just give away.” When I heard it, both times, I immediately thought of the widow who gave all that she had.
Mark 12:42-44 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all THEY did cast in of their abundance: but she of her want, did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
This story is told twice in the Bible, once in Mark and once in Luke. This is such an important lesson that God made sure it was in there twice. The nameless widow, that gave all that she had, and gave selflessly, was brought to the attention of Jesus’ disciples and written about in the Bible.
Luke 21:3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all.
She gave her all. Now that’s trust. That’s faith.
I am not suggesting you give everything that you own away. But let me tell you a story about my recent experience.
I decided it was time to clean out my closets. The first area I tackled was my coat closet. Yes, the dreaded coat collection: More coats than any one person can ever wear in one lifetime.
How does this happen? I mutter to myself as I am looking them over. Two coats don’t make the cut and have to go. One down-filled coat with a hood, and one black pea coat that I have never worn.
So along with a couple of hooded sweatshirts, the items go into my car, headed for the consignment store. Won’t hurt to make a little extra money, right?
But a little voice inside me is saying, “You are going to give these coats away today, just keep going, I’ll get you to where they belong.”
Soon after, I left home to deliver some Christmas decorations to a couple of friends that had recently lost theirs due to mold issues. Besides, I have too many decorations that never make it out of their boxes each year, so why was I keeping all that stuff?
I made the first drop and no, they didn’t need any winter coats.
Ok, keep going. I thought.
I get to my second destination and am unloading Christmas decorations and she is thanking me as she is carrying her grandson on her hip, telling me that times have been hard for her since she is raising her grandson now.
I pull the last of the decorations out of the back seat and I see the clothes…
“Hey, do you need some sweatshirts?” I ask.
Her reply: “Yes, all of my clothes are too big for me now since I’ve lost so much weight from chasing my grandson.”
Now I see where this is going Lord. Thank you.
I ask, “Do you also need a winter coat?” Her reply, “Yes, I do not have a coat!”
So when I pulled out the down-filled coat, her face lit up like the Christmas tree lights that she was getting ready to put up.
“Oh, I have wanted a puffy coat like that!”
Then I pulled out the second coat, and she is almost in tears now. “Oh my, I love that coat too, and I can wear it to church!”
I left with an empty car, and a full heart. My cup runneth over. I could not believe how my EXTRA was her everything.
Jo Ann Erwin lives in Paris, TN and has raised two college graduates, Melanie and Matthew. She is also mom to one precious poodle-mix named Molly and one high-maintenance cat named Moma Kitty. Jo Ann volunteers for the local homeless shelter and has for the past 15 years, fully believing that we are all equal in God’s eyes and we all deserve chances through-out our lives to make things right.