Poor in Spirit
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 (niv)
One Sunday, our pastor challenged us to talk to God about what we would like to offer Him from our time, talents and resources. I squirmed in the back pew. For months, I’d been battered with health issues that had stripped away abilities and limited my relationships, work and activities.
While the choir sang, I picked up a pencil and scribbled on the back of my bulletin, pouring my heart out to God:
“Lord, what can I give you? I was weak before. Now I’ve become frail. I was empty. Now I’m beyond empty—a pocket turned inside out. I come to you without talent, ideas, energy or zest. But I come. The more vast my emptiness, the more abundant your grace is to fill it. Show me what I can offer you. But even when all I can do is touch Your cloak and tremble, thank You for turning Your gaze to me and calling me daughter. Amen.”
I dried my tears and joined in singing the closing hymn, but continued to wrestle with the question during the week. What did I have for Jesus to use? I knew He loved the poor in spirit and could use my neediness to draw me closer to Himself. But I still wanted to offer Him something, wanted to give to Him and His people. Then one morning, He led me to 2 Corinthians 8:12: “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have” (niv).
Relief flooded me. He understood. My life had changed, and there were some things I couldn’t offer anymore—activities that took strength, abili- ties or financial resources that I no longer had. These days, my gift to Him might be a brief, quiet conversation of encouragement with a friend. Another day, it might be all I could do to prepare a meal for my family. Some days, my offering might only be whispering “I love you” to God through my pain. But my gift was acceptable.
I’d rather be strong, rich in possibilities, vibrant with accomplishments. Instead He gave me the gift of His love and acceptance and showed me the blessing of being poor in spirit—aware of my needs, and relying on His love.
FAITH STEP: Do you feel like you have nothing to offer Him? Tell Him where you are poor in spirit, and let Him reassure you of His acceptance.
Written by Sharon Hinck