"For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you." ~ 2 Corinthians 9:10
This past weekend, I had an opportunity to sing with a gospel quartet in Marion, SD, with a group of guys that go pheasant hunting up there every year. It just so happened that this Sunday the entire community was celebrating “Harvest In-Gathering". Each year on this particular Sunday, the farmers gather together and they celebrate the harvest being over and they make a special offering for missions - both local and around the world.
Now, I don’t know if you were affected by the drought this summer, but where I live in Arkansas, it was an awfully dry year. It was especially felt if your livelihood is totally dependent on whether or not the rains come. I had been in South Dakota for a few days already and had heard how terrible harvest had been, especially for the corn. Most farmers reported harvesting just a few bushels an acre.
And yet, on that Sunday morning, I was touched by the fact that even through such a challenging year, they still found a way to give. Not only to give money, but to give thanks to God for sustaining them through the drought.
Your challenges this past year may be different from a low corn yield, but each of us at some point in our lives face challenging times when life goes a totally different direction than we had hoped for.
There is a story in Mark 12:41-44 that talks about giving even when we have seeming little to offer:
“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. 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.”
I was given a “Widow’s Mite” a few years back and it is hanging on the rear-view mirror in my car I drive each day between the Simmons facilities and hospitals. It is a reminder for me to give everything I have to God and to each person I am given the opportunity to care for– my time, generosity, energy, and gratitude – regardless of whether I am doing well mind, body and soul, or if I am barely running on fumes. There have been seasons of my life where I find that I am at the end of myself, that I have nothing left to give. It is those times when God seems to do His best work in and through me.
Do you find yourself there today? Have you asked yourself lately, “What could I have to offer God? I feel like I have so little.” I want to encourage you that God wants to do incredible, eternally significant things in and through your life this Thanksgiving week.
Go all out in your love for God and the people he places in your path this week.