#447 – Courageous Kindness; Day 2 of 5

LISTEN to Andi and Brian Hale read this devotional

Exactly what you have.

Scriptures: Mark 12:41-44, John 15:9-12

I stood in my kitchen rifling through a small accordion file where we keep money for our monthly budget. It was the end of the month, so the file was mostly empty.

My sister was coming over soon, and I was scrambling to find some cash to give her. I checked my wallet. The jar where we stash dollars to save for vacation. My bottom desk drawer. All the places I might have hidden a few extra bucks.

My search was semi-successful. I thumbed through the wad of cash. Somehow I had found a hundred dollars. Strangely, though, they were all five-dollar bills. Suddenly, twenty five-dollar bills felt like both too much and painfully not enough. I wasn’t sure what to do.

My sister was going through a hard time—a really hard time. Life had imploded, and the gap between what she had and what she needed seemed impossible to bridge. I wanted to support her, to let her know that she wasn’t alone. In some ways a hundred dollars felt embarrassingly inadequate, as I knew it would hardly make a dent in her needs. On the other hand, I felt a little guilty that I had the resources to scrounge up that sum of money and the sacrifice didn’t hurt too much.

I stared at the stack of five-dollar bills. I didn’t want to make my sister feel insulted or ashamed by my gift. I just wanted her to know that she was seen and that I would walk through the fire with her. “Lord, help me to know what to do,” I prayed.

I felt a stirring in my spirit. The whisper of God that said, I know your heart and will honor it. Give joyfully—exactly what you have.

Later that afternoon, while cousins played together in the backyard and my sister and I cleaned up from lunch, I handed her a white envelope with my gift. She stuck it in her purse without opening it.

That night my phone binged with a new text: “Sister, I couldn’t believe it when I opened your envelope. This morning at church I put my last five dollars in the offering plate. I knew God was asking me to trust Him, but it was hard. Your generous gift was God reminding me that He sees me and will be faithful to provide for me.”

With tears in my eyes and a smile spread across my face, I stood once again in my kitchen, just shaking my head. Only God. His kindness to use and bless exactly what we have is abundant.

‘And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 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.’ Mark 12:41-44 https://my.bible.com/bible/1/MRK.12.41-44

‘As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. ‘ John 15:9-12 https://my.bible.com/bible/1/JHN.15.9-12

Prayer for today:

God, thank you for making living with courage and kindness so simple: I just get to listen to Your voice, remain in Your love, and follow where You lead. I’m so grateful You’re not limited by what I have; when I give my all, You honor it in ways I couldn’t imagine. Show me how to love someone in a tangible way today. You are able; I’m available—and I trust You. Amen.

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