Giving My All, With Thanks

“They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:44 NIV).

I’ve had one vision of this verse – a poor woman with her widow’s mite, willingly dropping that fraction of a penny into a basket.

Now I recognize some of my attitudes, the ones glued to the bottom of my “all” basket that needs emptying. I can be downright selfish when it comes to “giving my all”. Many days, as I am forced to rest on my couch, my pain is my all and little else seems possible.

Then, I view all that is around me and I observe abundant blessings. God has not stopped giving his all to me. I am provided for as I remain isolated from much of the world outside these walls. More importantly, his presence is here with me in the stillness.

I war with feelings of envy as others go about their busy lives during my season of more limitations. It truly is an arrogance, a questioning of God’s plan for my life. He knows what he is doing. I am far from possessing the qualities displayed by the woman praised in this Scripture verse. Her qualities are worthy goals.

The “all” in my basket are some attitudes needing to be surrendered. Next to my basket, God has another one filled with his wealth. These are provisions he wants me to keep – trust, faith, grace, humility, and acceptance. It is from “my basket” that I am to pluck out and plunk into his hands all that is holding me back. With God’s perspective, I will not be comparing my life to that of others. I will deeply recognize that he provides for one and all.

If there is to be any poverty, let it be from my heart draining in thanksgiving to God who loves me in spite of my attitudinal shortcomings. He remains with me to help me see with new eyes.

Prayer: Lord, help me to give my all so that there is room within me to receive your all. Help my heart to rise in thanksgiving for you and your basket full of generosity – ever and always near. Amen.

Lynn Severance is a retired elementary classroom teacher. She lives in Lynnwood, Washington. She writes to encourage others as God has encouraged her during 26 years of living with daily physical challenges.