Helping When It Hurts

by | May 22, 2024

Dear friends,

A long time ago, in the bustling courts of the Jewish Temple, Jesus once sat observing those who came to worship through giving. The wealthy threw in large sums of money, making a grandiose display of their generosity. But in the middle of the demonstrations, a poor widow came by, unnoticed by many. This widow quietly dropped two small coins into the treasury and walked away. It was two Roman mites, worth a combined total of about a dollar or two. After the woman gave her gift, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “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” (Mark 12:43-44). In the context of the daily giving, the widow’s offering was nothing, yet to God it was everything.

This account demonstrates the heart of true giving. The widow’s gift, though insignificant to the overall ministry, held immense value in God’s eyes because it was given out of her poverty. The offering was not about the amount but about the sacrifice and faith it represented. She gave when giving was hard, demonstrating a firm faith in God’s provision and a heart fully devoted to Him.

Similarly, in 1 Kings 17, we read about the widow of Zarephath who gave the last of her oil and flour to the prophet Elijah during a severe famine. Despite her dire circumstances, she trusted God’s promise through Elijah and gave what little she had left. Her faith and obedience not only sustained Elijah but also resulted in God’s miraculous provision for her and her household.

In our own lives, we often face moments when we are called to give from our scarcity. It may not always be money. It may also be from our time, energy, or love. These moments can be challenging for us. We may feel we have little to offer, yet it is in these acts of sacrificial giving that our faith and character are truly tested and refined. When we give from our want, we are saying, “Lord, I trust You more than my circumstances. I believe You will sustain me even when I am empty.”

Consider a single parent working two jobs to make ends meet, who still finds time to volunteer. Or the student who, despite a heavy workload, takes a few hours each week to teach children. Or the underpaid school teacher, who, despite their constant teaching, volunteers her time to teach in Sunday School and buy snacks and gifts for the children. These acts, like the widow’s mites, may seem small and unnoticed by most, but they are precious to God. They reflect a heart that is willing to love and serve even when it is not easy.

In practice, helping when it hurts might mean working a little bit more each week to serve the Lord. It might mean financially supporting a person in need even when our own budget is tight. It may mean losing a nap or a day off to visit someone going through struggles. These acts of generosity and love may stretch us, but they are powerful demonstrations of our faith and obedience and can make all the difference in the world.

As we reflect on the widow’s example, let’s be encouraged to give generously from our various resources, trusting that God sees and values our sacrifices. Let’s remember the words of Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Our acts of giving, no matter how small, are never in vain. Our sacrifices are seen, valued, and used by God to bless others and to grow us to be more like Him.

True giving is not measured by the amount but by the heart and sacrifice. When we give out the very last of what we have to offer, we can rely on God’s abundant grace, trusting Him to fill and sustain us. Let’s give with a heart full of faith, knowing that our small sacrifices can make a big impact for the Kingdom of God.

Topics: #Charity, #Faith, #Giving, #Help, #Need, #Provision, #Sacrifice, #Service, #Tithe

Privacy Preference Center