Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.~Philippians 3:4 NLT
“It’s gonna be a minute,” I heard him mumble. After all, he was down to pennies.
He and I and others waited in an inch-along line at a local gas station. We had both waited patiently, but I would soon wait even longer. Finally, when his turn came, he twisted sideways, slid a Ziploc bag from his pocket, and dumped the contents on the hard counter. I heard the coins clang against the hard surface and heard them again as he scraped them two-by-two toward the cashier—all two hundred pennies and two dimes.
Seeing the line growing longer, the cashier jumped in to help. When they finished, he mumbled something about a pump number and disappeared out the door. Only later did I realize his efforts amounted to only one measly gallon of gas.
Had I known the nature of his purchase, I would have offered to assist him. Perhaps I was too preoccupied. By the time I realized what had happened, he was gone—and so was my opportunity to show an act of kindness. The score? God 1, me 0.
Later that day, as I took my afternoon walk, I asked God for another opportunity and vowed I’d be more attentive next time.
Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins.~Luke 21:2 NLT
Jesus looked on as the wealthy cast their excess into the temple treasury. Their gifts didn’t impress Him. But the one from the widow did. In a time when little to no help availed itself for widows, she put in all she had on which to live. Jesus said she had given more than all the others combined.
I’ve been down on my luck before, but never to the point that I could only buy one gallon of gas. Nor have I had the widow’s faith and given my last penny to God when I needed it for food or to pay bills. Some have passed me by when I have faced difficulties, just as I did the guy at the gas station. But many have helped, as I now wish I had.
God arranges opportunities for us to demonstrate His love in tangible ways to others. Telling others about God’s love and inviting them to follow Him as their Savior is done with more than just words. Our actions of love speak volumes, causing others to want to know why we live and do as we do.
Living with spiritual sensitivity toward those who are down to their pennies takes practice—and a whole lot of prayer. But, when we do, God will show us the opportunities. And if we are the ones who are down to pennies, God will send someone along to buy us a few gallons of gas.
Ask God for opportunities to help those who are down to pennies.
Father God, give us eyes to see those we can help.
Copyright 2022: Down to Pennies: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved