A member of our Mom's club was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease this past December. She has two small children, ages 2 and 4. Our Mom's club is a pretty amazing group of women, and upon learning about it, plans were made to help her and her family out. Delivery of home-cooked meals were organized, fundraisers were held, hints and ideas on how to help the family were constantly offered to the membership.
The life expectancy of someone with an ALS diagnosis is between 2 to 5 years. However, she died this morning, just a few months after being diagnosed.
I had good intentions to help...and then I have some pretty pitiful excuses. I planned to cook a meal or two and have them delivered; but my excuse was that the family lived too far away. A fundraiser was held a few weeks ago at the restaurant of one of our other club members; but it was too cold for me to take the girls out by myself, and Tom had to work overtime that day. A group of ladies recently went to her home to give it a good cleaning within the last week, and one member even offered to watch other members' children so we could clean without interruptions; but I couldn't leave my nursing baby with someone and besides, that was Liesl's naptime, it was not convenient for me. I meant to go visit the family, as it was brought up many times that she would appreciate company and visitors; but I was too busy in my own life, wrapped up in my own "problems," dealing with the time constraints that I had really put upon myself and my family. I kept putting helping off: I'm really busy working on a show right now, or everybody in my family is sick and I don't want to spread the germs to her kids, or nobody has slept well and we wouldn't be good company anyway, or it's too cold to go out with a baby. So I have been telling myself these last few months that I'll go and visit this mom when I have time. But my time and opportunities to serve and spread the blessings I have been given have run out.
Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;
This is not the first time I have been reminded strongly that Time and Money are both gifts from God. If we honor God with the firstfruits of our labor--by seeing as giving the best of our Time and Money to Him, and not "what's left over" or what we think we can afford to give after we're done spending our time and money on our own selfish pursuits--then God will reward us with more than we could ever give. As a woman in my Bible study has said several times over the last few years, "You can't outgive God." And you can't...if you give up everything you have and do it with a kind and giving heart, God will bless you with more then you were ever able to give. After all, look what happened to Job.
From now on, I hope I will remember that if I give up the best of my time and money, God will make sure I have time and money to take care of everything else that is "important" to my life and my family. My two children still have their mother; her two children will grow up without one. Surely that was worth an hour or two out of my busy week.
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."