And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Matthew 10:3
During the first 12 years of my education I started new at five different schools. The move during eighth grade was just after Easter with only a few weeks left until summer break. We had moved from rural Texas to the land where cotton was king. I had no idea the culture shock this country girl was about to be thrown into. Back in Texas we had thirty-five working horses, two thousand head of cattle and all the responsibility that came along with helping on a family ranch. Now I was in a society where women stayed indoors, polished their nails, and read People Magazine. I was a stranger in a foreign land, no doubt shunned every time I opened my country mouth.
The eight hours a day spent in school during the spring of eighth grade had a huge impact on how I pictured me. Seen? Yes… but not in a good way. Those mean girls had confirmed what I had only suspected up to this point. I was a country bumpkin nobody.
God gives us a glimpse into a similar story in the New Testament with only a few short verses. Told in both Mark and Luke, the story picks up on that day with Jesus sitting at the temple watching the worshippers give their offerings. With dramatic show, the wealthy paraded through making a show of giving their generous gifts as they dropped them into the offering. I imagine the sound of coins being dropped in one at a time.
- Ping! I am generous!
- Ping! Ping! Look at my sacrifice!
- Ping! Ping! Ping! I am devoted to God!
Or… maybe not. Jesus didn’t appear to be the least bit impressed until…
This story doesn’t give us insight into her name, family or occupation. But we are told that she’d endured great loss. She had little of value left in this life. Yet we read that she worshipped God.
As the prideful paraded their sacrifices, Jesus noticed the poor widow as she arrived with her ‘very small’ offering amounting to a few cents. This was equivalent to the pennies we step over on the sidewalk without notice. It wasn’t even enough for the temple treasurer to buy more incense much less buy a meal for an orphan.
Yet this is what she brought her God. Everything she had.
And her God noticed.
“Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. Mark 12:43
In the midst of far more extravagant exhibits of giving, Jesus noticed the small and invisible. One poor widow in the crowd of many righteous and wealthy.
As I imagine myself in the temple that day, it makes me want to stand up and shout. He sees you! Jesus sees you!
She matters to Him!
Most of us will never understand the magnitude of the sacrifice this woman poured out that morning in the temple. Yet He noticed her. And if He saw her, then surely He sees us.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
As it turned out, God did the miraculous following 8th grade and we moved that summer. God had given me the opportunity to spend six weeks getting a taste of what life could be like. When we moved 65 miles away to the place I would spend the next thirty years, I was better prepared.
God saw this hurting little girl the spring of eight grader just like He noticed the widow in the temple that morning among the prideful.
And God sees you… right where you are.
The God of the universe, the one who set the stars and sun into motion and spoke this glorious creation into existence, sees me. And He sees you.
God sees you for the amazing woman He created you to be. He has a wonderful plan for your life and He is ever waiting to spend beloved moments with you. He longs to hear your heart and to whisper His love songs in your ear. You are His most precious possession.
God sees you.
And you are what He says that you are!
You are enough!
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Cindy Willingham is a landscape designer, small group leader, avid encourager, and sinner saved by grace who is ten years new to Birmingham, Alabama. Her sweet husband of 38 years, two married children and four grand-kiddos fill her life with unbelievable fun and sweet snuggles. She thinks God is awesome and that the best adventure starts with saying yes to that still, small voice. ~ To read Cindy’s BoP Bio click here.