Lent Reflections: Joy and Generosity in Mission
A year ago I was sitting in a hospital bed. It’s exhausting to talk about, but the reality is it changed me. God used that experience to gently change my heart towards people. I was hospitalized for 2.5 months while pregnant with our third child and it was lonely and isolating. I still struggle to talk about that time because I feel so unworthy. I tend to think “oh Morgan, so many people have gone through worse than you, so you have no right to talk about your story and what happened in that time. No one cares because at the end of the day, you had a healthy baby and you’re fine. The end.” I also realize that’s my tendency with most things. I forget that God has a story to tell through me and that God uses my story to demonstrate his grace, his goodness and how he moves people to action in his name. Why should I keep silent about that?
Giving is hard. Giving to someone who needs a lot is hard. But Jesus himself said “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) Jesus himself said that. That means something must happen to us when we give. I had a lot of needs in that 2.5 months – A LOT. As a mom, I’m used to doing all the things. So, as you can imagine, I was the one receiving A LOT. I saw something happen in my friends, in my family, in my kids and in our staff team at Jacob’s Well as they served me. I saw friends sacrifice joyfully for me. I saw family drive miles and miles on my behalf. I saw a community watch my kids, bring me real food, sit with me, pray with my husband, cry with me, listen to my anxiety, text me at all hours of the day and night, take over my WellKIDS duties, teach my kids, pray for my unborn baby, fast for our situation and I could go on and on.
No one person did all of that though. No one person could have. God doesn’t ask us to do everything; he asks us to be faithful and do it with joy. In Luke 21, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering. He also saw a poor widow giving an offering of two small copper coins. He said this, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” That’s what our Heavenly Father asks us to do. To give generously. For some of us that might be 2 copper coins and for some of us that might be giving up a perfectly planned out day to spend time with 2 crazy boys. For some of us that might be texting a friend and praying over the phone for them and for some of us that might mean supporting a missionary in another part of the world, or taking a friend who is hurting a meal, or buying books for a friend who is struggling to pay for their own. Jacob’s Well - give your two copper coins generously, whatever your two copper coins are. God will use them for his purposes, to show the world who he is.