It has been a couple days since the last Alive in You camp, and I must say that I am exhausted. However, if I am to be exhausted, I am so glad and grateful that it is from such a profound experience. For the past five summers I have been a part of Alive in You, each year has been altogether surreal and life-changing; this year was no different.
As I reflect on my time at Alive in You, I am quickly reminded of the story in the Gospel of Matthew (12:41-44) about the widow and the two coins. As the woman gives only two coins in the offering box Jesus says, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” In a lot of ways, this reflects how I feel about a lot of different areas of my life.
Most days, I don’t really ever feel adequate or equipped enough to live the kind of life God is calling me to. Whether it is music, friendships, relationships, family, or work, it doesn’t ever feel like I am quite cut out for the work set before me. There’s a saying in church circles that goes, “God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called.” In the moments of exhaustion and stress, I often wonder when God is going to start qualifying me for what he has called me to. We all have these moments of insecurity and/or anxiety. In a lot of ways, this has to do with our own unique kind of poverty. Though you may have actual money to put into the offering box and not be in financial poverty; there might be a physical, emotional, or even spiritual poverty that you are going through.
It is in these moments of little faith and little energy we have a large opportunity to give of ourselves. It is in the midst of doubt, fear, insecurity (you name it), that we can put in our “two coins” out of love. Though, we may feel like we don’t have much to offer, God uses it all the same. By His grace, it is purified and made to something more.
Most days I feel inadequate and unworthy to be leading people in prayer on retreats, to be a campus minister at a high school, and to be a youth minister at a parish. Most of us probably have these sorts of feelings in whatever job, obligations, or vocations we have committed to. However, I rest in the fact that in my obedience to God’s will, He will take my “two coins” worth and by his grace create a pearl of great price or, perhaps, something more. Mother Teresa is given credit for saying, “God does not ask us to be successful, but faithful.” Regardless of our own limitations, whether they be physical or spiritual, let us not limit our God or the power of Grace.