Hello dear Reader, The following post is something that’s been deep on my heart to share. It’s for all of us who want to be a blessing, but sometimes feel like our hearts are so messy in the middle of it. And in a way, this post is an invitation to join me in five days of sitting with this topic. However you choose to use the words below, I pray they are a blessing to your life of offering.
If you’ve ever just wished that you could offer yourself wholeheartedly but your heart just felt like melting, then I feel like we have so much in common and I’m so glad.
There was a day this month, more like a string of days, when my heart longed to be useful, to feel useful, but mostly all I felt was overwhelmed, falling short, limited, broken.
And in that place, my daughter asked me to read her a story from her children’s Bible. It was the story of the small boy with a small lunch, and for those few moments while I read it, it felt like I was that boy. It felt like Jesus saw all these pieces of my heart and still waited with a loving smile for what I had to give. And the tears came.
So I wrote about it and we made a video. I hope you enjoy it.
In case you’re hard of hearing the transcript for the video is provided at the bottom of this post. Below the video I’ll talk a bit more about those three things I’m still learning from that little boy and you’ll also be invited to five days of letting your heart sit with truth and encouragement as you offer what God has given you.
How do I give wholeheartedly when my heart just wants to melt? Sometimes I think I can never give wholeheartedly as long as my heart feels this way. I forget that the “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted.” (Ps. 34:18)
When we want to give ourselves wholeheartedly but our hearts feel all the things, here is what we can do:
1. Acknowledge the reasons our hearts feel like melting.
We are never more wholehearted than when our hearts are resting in Jesus acknowledging to Him every part of what lies inside. There is no safer place to pour out the depth of our hearts than in His own loving arms. He is the only one who can make good out of every part of what we feel inside us.
When we tell Him what our hearts are feeling, when we tell Him the things in life that overwhelm us, we acknowledge our own weakness and that weakness becomes a tool in His hands. The Bible never tells us to make our hearts invicible, it simply tells us to keep our hearts and to let Him use our weakness. (Pr. 4:23, 2 Cor. 12:9)
2. Give from our melting hearts.
We may not feel it, but we are so wholehearted coming from this place. We don’t have to have hearts that feel strong before He can use us. Because the strength of our heart does not lie in us. It lies in Him. When we don’t feel strong, we are invited to trust Him for the strength and keep on resting in the promise that He is using us.
Even when our hearts feel like they’re melting, by faith His strength holds them together and close to His own heart. Our own usefulness does not depend on our strength.
3. See Jesus meet us in the giving.
Even as we may question ourselves, when we put our eyes on His faithfulness, our trust is not in ourselves, or in any outcome we can see, but in the simple promise that He is moving in our lives. We may not see exactly how He moves, but as we look to Him, He always meets us in the giving.
We look for Jesus in the giving and we become that little boy giving the little offering from our sack. Though our offering is so small, Jesus gives His big smile because while we don’t know just what He will do with it, though we may never even see how He does use it, He assures us with His smile… Yes, you are so useful.
If these thoughts speak to you, then I’d like to invite you to a personal, five day Bible study. I’ll share some of my own struggles in this and we’ll look at what Scripture says both about giving our offering and about how to keep heart in the ministry of life on this earth as one of His children. As children of God, there are areas where we can start to lose heart in the giving. We’ll look at five ways we can strive to keep heart even as we let our weak hearts rest in the strength of Jesus.
Each of the five days I’ll send you a (free) PDF that includes a short intro video, devotional thoughts, Scripture study and journaling prompts / meditation for your own heart in the offering. You can sign up below if you’d like to be a part. I would LOVE for you to join me.
And whether we are offering ourselves today as parents, friends, creatives, teachers, whether we offer ourselves behind a desk or on a stage, may we all claim it together by the strength of His love, “Having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.” (2 Cor. 4:1)
There is a crowd surrounding us, a swelling up of people who must surely know they’re purpose in this place. And in the midst of people, we strain to hear the One who leads. We are finding our way in the ocean of possibilities, hoping to stay afloat, our minds drifting and remembering again and again who we are here for in all the mess.
Just one in the world who can be so uncertain, we need one hope to cling to for the noise that swirls around us.
And the leading one holds a dear child close, lifts him up as treasured. What sweet joy to be that one, to be so treasured by him. Yet, the heart of the idea is slapped by a whispering accuser. Perhaps the voice is true. Perhaps my heart does want the praise of all these people. How can I deny that such broken feelings rise inside me?
But when I look up at him, he still gives his gaze my way. Still the smile rests on his face, as he seems to know what’s in my heart. Those eyes don’t look to accuse me, nor do they give one reason to stay away. I look down on what I have to give. Maybe he knows what I hold inside.
Still, I wonder. Still the courage is not inside me, but you, my friend, come close with kindness. You point me on to trust those eyes. A smidge of courage rises in me. And it is not my own. For it was sent through you.
I take a step, clutching the bag in my hand. Ducking through the field of people. For all the assurance my kind-eyed leader seems to give, there are so many calling for his attention.
Seeing a man who knows him stand quiet to the side, I make my way there. As I stand there in the presence of this man, he looks down waiting to see why I have come. My hands tremble to reach for the contents of my bag, for I know they are so small.
With such doubts inside me, I remember your encouragement friend and I look again to the One I’m doing this for. I lift my package and pull it open, to show these two small fish and pieces of bread to the man before me.
The expression on his face seems to be one that has questions too. Yet, he gives a kind smile and takes up my offering. Stepping away from me, he goes on to carry it for me. Beyond the broad shoulders of this man, there is the one who I hope can use my offering. One more time, he gives me the happiest smile I’ve seen from him.
I don’t know what he will do with my offering, but what I do know, is that smile he just gave me makes every part of this story worth it.
For all the broken feelings inside me, for all the ways my offering may be flawed, for every part of my steps to get here that were so imperfect, he treasures me and he treasures my offering.
While we paused in the questions, he already knew how he planned to use our offering. And he waited, without an ounce of judgment on us.
He waits in love for each offering from us. For we are all the little boy with our bits of bread and fish.