By Kelcie Kinchen/Guest columnist
The Picayune Item
Through life, no matter where we are, we face times that leave us with just a handful of understanding and a trunk full of confusion. Circumstances leave us standing in the road, not sure which way to turn.
It seems like everyone around you has something to offer in abundance and yet all you believe you have is not worthy of offering. In our minds, all we see is the lack but God sees the abundance around the corner of surrender.
In Luke 7, there is a woman who stood in that exact circumstance. Luke 7:37-38 says, “A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.” In those two verses, God turned my heart upside down and revealed something I thought I had already grasped in such a real way. This woman was not worthy and shunned by the public, being the least likely to approach a Savior, much less step foot in the house of the Pharisees, but yet she came with what she had to offer. As I read this story, the God I know — who is so merciful and loving — became so real to me. I read as this woman brought her small alabaster jar to Jesus as an offering. Probably the only valuable possession she had was brought to a Savior she believed would restore all she thought she had lost. Such a beautiful picture of surrender is painted as she shamelessly wept at His feet, wiping them with her hair, and anointing them with the small portion of oil she had. She humbled herself before a King worthy of praise.
In the pouring out of her tears upon his feet, she poured out her heart revealing the abundance that it contained — a heart she and those among her thought was a lost cause. In her act of obedience and a heart that cried out for redemption, she gained the love and acceptance of a Savior, something the Pharisees never quite understood.
This woman, whom we do not know by name but rather her actions, grasped the majesty of Jesus and honored Him in such a humbling way that touches hearts like mine today.
I have heard this story multiple times and read it more times than I can count, but this time it is as if the words leaped off the page and gripped my heart in a way it never had before. I was caught up in the humbling spirit the woman had and my heart yearned to have that same thing. There is something so humbling about the act of bringing all we have, no matter how insignificant it seems compared to the world around us, and laying it at the feet of Jesus and sealing the surrender with tears that flow from a heart so hungry for His love. The shameless act of this woman, who was so undeserving to the public’s eye, found favor and ultimate healing at the feet of Jesus offering Him her heart.
There is another story of a woman who brought all she had in faith that God would restore what she had lost. In 2 Kings 4 there is the story of a widow who had nothing but a jar of oil left to her name. The Prophet Elisha told her to gather her empty vessels and all the empty vessels of her neighbors and pour her small jar of oil till it runs out. I am sure that this widow was thinking, “How in the world is this possibly going to work?”, but she did as she was told and gathered the empty vessels and began to pour the oil. As the story goes, God filled every vessel and replaced her lack with abundance that came from an act of obedience and surrender. Her offering saved her family and proved God’s faithfulness to His people.
It makes no sense to me why God would want the widow to ‘add’ to her emptiness, but as I looked deeper into the word I found that once again there is reward in obedience and surrender. With a faith that He wills from us, He always does. When we pour ourselves out to Him, whether at His feet or in a house full of empty vessels, He always restores in abundance.
I desire to have the heart of these two women in the Bible that came to Jesus with a surrendered heart, offering what little they had, honoring the Savior that is worthy of every bit of me.
When we can’t imagine how this road is going to turn out, when the end isn’t very clear, when confusion overtakes our mind, He asks us to take what we have, though it may be small, and make it an offering.
Today I will lay my offering at His feet, weeping with a grateful and surrendered heart in His presence. I will pour what I have into the empty vessels around me and let God fill me. He is such a great God that honors a humbled heart and that is something I strive for day in and day out.