“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings
were put and watched the crowd putting their money
into the temple treasury.
Many rich people threw in large amounts.”
Mark 12:41 (NIV)
“But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.’” Mark 12:42-44 (NIV)
“‘Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.’ Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, ‘Follow me!’” John 21:18-19 (NIV)
A dear lady I minister to is a shut-in and has been since childhood. A medical issue has required her to live in a wheelchair all her life. She has a couple of childhood photos in her flat showing her bravely trying to walk with crutches, but it did not work and she resigned herself to the wheelchair.
This woman has made a very precious offering to the Lord. No, she never gave thousands of dollars to her church, nor does she sponsor many children in third world countries through Christian agencies. She has not gone to a far away country to minister to others. She quietly lives in her flat and phones other shut-ins to offer a word of cheer and sends cards and letters of comfort to others. She also keeps in touch with people by email on her computer.
For all that—this woman makes a very expensive offering to the Lord Jesus every day. She offers her suffering body a living sacrifice to the Lord (Romans 12:1). She glorifies God by her humble acceptance of her seclusion. Certainly she would love to get around like the rest of us. She would love to run, jump and delight in a walk in the park. This will only come to her in heaven.
Have you thought of offering your suffering to the Lord as what you can do to glorify Him? Will you say to the Father as Jesus once did to Him in the midst of His dreadful suffering, “Thy will be done.”? Will you seek to live as this cheerful woman does by accepting your problem that resists removal? Can you see how through suffering you can make a great offering to the Lord like the poor widow of Mark 12:41-42? Do you recognize that in suffering there is great potential to glorify the Lord? Peter’s way of dying brought glory to the Lord because Peter accepted the sorrow and honoured the Lord in the terrible times as well as the good times.
Go and do likewise, just as this widow in Mark 12 and Peter in John 21. You have your own special offering to bring to the feet of the Master. Lay it on the altar of sacrifice and know that your Father in heaven, Who sees the small bird die, is ever watchful of you, His lamb.
I love my Shepherd’s voice, His watchful eyes shall keep
My wand’ring soul among The thousands of His sheep:
He feeds His flock, He calls their names, His bosom bears the tender lambs.
Isaac Watts (1674-1748)