I never actually met Ed, my paternal grandfather; he died well before I was born. But I admire the handsome face I see peering back at me in the handful of grainy photographs I’ve perused and enjoy the stories of his life that have been passed down through my family. From what I gather, he was not a physically imposing man nor was he blessed with enormous talent. He was not rich, not important, and not famous in any way. From what I understand, he was absolutely ordinary, but he did something quite extraordinary.
His oldest son, my father, played high school football in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dad’s teams never competed for the state championship, but Dad loved to play and was pretty good at it, so of course his parents went to the games to cheer on their son and watch him compete.
At some point in one of the seasons, a soaking rainstorm blew in and deluged the field. No lightning or thunder, so they didn’t need to postpone, but the conditions were miserable for players and fans. The game itself was not noteworthy from a competition standpoint, in fact, I don’t recall ever being told who won the game. But at some point during this cold and wet match, my Dad said he stole a quick look toward the sidelines and noticed a single person standing there in a trench coat and hat while holding an umbrella. He was the only one who stayed to watch, resolutely refusing to leave until the final whistle. Supporting his son no matter what.
This small act may have seemed insignificant to him at the time, just a routine part of doing what fathers are supposed to do, but it meant the world to his son. Later this month, Dad will turn 89 years old, and he still speaks fondly of this one memory. Of all the precious things I know about my grandfather, this is the memory I cherish the most.
Do you ever wonder if your offering is too small to matter? A couple-a-bucks isn’t really going to make much of a difference in the collection plate—right? Perhaps your finances are stretched to the limit already, and a couple-a-bucks is all you can spare. But God’s plans are infinite and eternal, so He really doesn’t need my puny contribution—does He?
A proper tithe is how much? Really? Would $10 do?
If we examine the Scriptures, it’s clear that size matters to God, but perhaps not the way you might think…
In Judges 7, God reduced the size of Gideon’s band of warriors because they were too big, and a mighty foe was vanquished.
1 Samuel 9 tells us that Saul, Israel’s first king, was a Benjamite, the smallest of all Israel’s clans. And in chapter 16, we learn that David was the youngest of all his brothers, only good enough to tend sheep, but he became a man after God’s own heart!
Micah, a minor Old Testament prophet, foretold that the small town of Bethlehem would serve as the birthplace of the Messiah.
The narrow opening, the tiny mustard seed and a little child all served as important object lessons in Christ’s teachings.
We also know that Jesus fed 5000 men, not counting women and children, with just 5 loaves and 2 fish. And we’ve all heard how Jesus was most impressed by the poor woman who put her last two small coins in the offering.
During offering time, we often discuss larger amounts, like 10% of your household income. But maybe, just maybe, the small and seemingly insignificant can make the most lasting mark of all, just like one man standing all alone in the pouring rain. You just have to give it.
Let us pray…
- Father God, You have made it abundantly clear in Your Word that You can do great things with the small, the tiny, the weak and the insignificant.
- Small or large, let our offerings today and everyday be a fragrant gift to You.