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Total Surrender

In a wooden box in my bedroom sits a very tiny, rough edged coin, preserved in a collector’s sleeve. Probably only a third the size of a penny, it caught my attention in a coin store years ago. As I read the label, “Widow’s Mite,” I was reminded of the story in Mark about a widow who gave two of these small coins.

“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 fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, 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.’” (Luke 12:41-44)

The rich people’s offerings probably didn’t require much sacrifice. The widow’s offering was one of great sacrifice. She had two coins and she gave two coins.

The proportion of her giving has always seemed the story’s point; we can definitely learn a lesson in generous giving from this woman. More hidden perhaps is an even harder lesson to learn. This woman was so poor that anything she gave would have been a sacrificial offering, but what did she give? She gave all she had. Those two coins represented her heart, her soul, her mind. She totally trusted God with her present and future.

Jesus reminds us to, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” (Matthew 22:37-38) He wants us to commit everything we have to Him. Are we ready to give what He asks? Are we willing to use our time in the way He asks? Are we focusing on Him or ourselves? Is there something we are holding back from Him, or is everything His? Jesus desires and delights in total surrender.

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