When Adeline was born Robert, my husband, fell immediately in love with her. I mean, we all did. But there was something really unique about what happen to her Popi’s heart the first time he held her. He couldn’t stop kissing her, staring at her, being amazed by this miraculous blessing with which God had gifted us. From that day forward, his heart was hers– everything he had as far as love and devotion was redefined by this little baby girl. From the day of her birth it would be
impossible for him to give anything less than his all to her as a father because very simply, she had changed his heart. Anyone else have this experience as a parent? For me, my life was changed and I loved her in a way I didn’t realize possible. But another great source of joy came from watching my husband and my daughter fall in love with each other. The biggest blessing I received was seeing the power of God’s love to transform a heart, through a tiny baby girl.
We are forever changed by our children. Not just our lifestyles, time commitments, priorities, sleep habits etc. – but something happens to a heart when it realizes a new level of love has been achieved. When it commits itself to loving someone with everything it has, realizing it cannot possibly give more than its all- that it cannot stop kissing the one it loves.
There is a widow in the Gospel of Mark who demonstrates this type of love, but instead of being for her baby it is towards Jesus. You might know this story, it tends to be a rather popular one. Jesus had just finished teaching in the temple and this happened:
41 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Funny how Jesus is not terribly impressed with the percentage given (no matter how big) but instead he recognizes the poor widow who placed 2 coins in the treasury yet put in everything. He actually makes a pretty bold, and rather clear, statement when he says that “she put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.” I mean imagine being those rich people who put in large sums now shown up by the poor widow with 2 coins. They couldn’t have been too happy about this. And it is doubtful they understood what Jesus was getting at.
But the thing is this: Jesus is not talking about the money, the coins, the percentage. He is getting at something else much more important, a larger truth. God doesn’t want part of us, he wants all of us. Jesus is most likely intentional about using money as a way to make his point about freely giving all we have and are to him. After all, money can be the hardest thing to let go of, often taking priority over God and therefore placing it between us and Him. Jesus is saying that this is not what God wants, a percentage is not enough. He is pointing out that it does not work because God wants everything we have and are.
What does it look like to put in everything? Since it’s not about the 2 coins, but what they represent, it is here we look for understanding. A widow who has nothing gives it all to Jesus. She understands Christ is worthy of all she has to give: she TRUSTS him fully. She didn’t put the 2 coins in because they would greatly impact Jesus’ ministry. She did it because her heart trusted him and wanted to give all she had – her everything. She knew she could live on Christ alone, that he would be more than enough. So everything she had, she gave to him.
What does it look like to put in everything? It looks like a father who can’t stop kissing his daughter. One who from the day she was born fell madly in love with her – giving to her everything he has as a father. He can’t give part of who he is, he gives all of it. He doesn’t provide a percentage of his love, he gives it all.
Isn’t this how it should be with Jesus? We are so overtaken by his love, by who he is, by the change he brings to our life and the work he does in our heart, that we simply cannot give anything less than everything. Is it convenient? Nope. Is it comfortable? Definitely not! Is it a requirement of our faith? Absolutely! Does it change us forever? You bet!!
Are you trusting Jesus enough to give him everything? Or are you holding back part of who you are as a way of protecting yourself? It is all about TRUST. Maybe your response is like mine was: I don’t know how. Well then this prayer might be one that you too need to pray:
Help me Lord,
I don’t know how to trust you enough to give everything I have and all I am. Give me more of You. Shower me with your grace, your strength, and your love. Show me what it means to put everything in– to give my all. Give me a heart that seeks to trust you more. Amen.