The Widow's Offering
By Gene Markland
Lillie showed up for her job as a greeter at Walmart just like every other day. A petite lady with a glorious smile, it seemed as if she knew everyone in town as one-by-one people came through the door calling out, "Hello Miss Lillie!" What she didn't know was that today would not be work as usual.
Lillie grew up as the daughter of a Pentecostal preacher in the early 1900's in a humble home filled with love in the hills of Tennessee. Life was a sweet challenge for Miss Lillie, losing her son in childbirth, and raising two beautiful daughters during the great depression.
During World War II she was called to come to a secret government facility in nearby Oak Ridge Tennessee to pick up her husband who had collapsed. He had worked 48 hours without sleep in a mysterious building where we now know the government had been developing the nuclear bomb which ended the war. Sworn to secrecy, he never spoke of the activity in that building…ever.
Miss Lillie was always faithful to God, her church, and her family. A faithful tithe payer and giver, she helped those in need, even taking some into her home. Her children and many grandchildren were always remembered on birthdays and Christmas, and her prayers helped them through many a crisis. Hers was a life of humble means, yet rich in spiritual heritage.
Jesus spoke of how mighty a humble widow could be when he was in the Temple watching rich people put their gifts into the collection box. A poor widow came by and dropped in two pennies, which were called mites, the least valued coins at that time. Jesus said, "I assure you, this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them, for they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has" (Luke 21:1 NLT).
Though just a couple of mites, her gift was mighty. The Bible also tells the story of the Prophet Elijah who was told by the Lord during a great famine to "go and live in a certain city for there is a widow there who will feed you."
This poor widow only had enough food to make one final tiny meal for herself and her son. They were prepared to die of starvation after their last tiny meal. However, the Lord had other plans for her. The prophet told her that if she gave him the tiny meal, she would never go hungry again. She obeyed in faith and her mite-sized meal was traded for a mighty supply that never ran out as long as the drought lasted. This was one of the great miracles of the Bible (I Kings 17).
It seems that a woman of God, though left alone and in need, is not forgotten by the Lord. She is truly special in His sight and He will provide for her. If you are a widow or a single mom, take encouragement from this fact. He is mindful of you.
Even as Jesus was dying on the cross he provided for his mother, a widow. He spoke to her and his beloved disciple John and said, "'Woman, he is your son.' Then he said to his disciple, 'She is your mother.' From that day John took her into his home" (John 19:26-27 NLT). The Lord truly loves the widow.
And Miss Lillie? That day on the job at Walmart would not be work as usual, for she had a surprise in store. The store Manager and employees stopped what they were doing and gave her a surprise birthday party. None of them could believe that Miss Lillie was 80 years old! She was such an active and vital greeter.
This tiny elderly widow had a mighty impact on her world. When I get to heaven and see her, I'll give Miss Lillie, my grandmother, a mighty hug.
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Gene Markland is an Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur. He is the Author of Spirit Fellowship, Experiencing Life in the Presence of God. He resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia with his wife Martha and daughter Laura. Gene blogs at http://www.spiritfellowship.blogspot.com/ Send Gene your Comments
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