God loves to use the insignificant for His glory—the overlooked for feats of greatness—the weak to rout the mighty. When He does this, only He gets the glory.
During the last months of World War II, the British conducted daily bombing raids over Berlin. The bombers would take off from an airstrip in England and fly, surrounded by smaller fighter planes whose job it was to keep German fighters from attacking the bombers, which were easy targets.
One night after a successful bombing raid, as they were heading for the safety of England, the bombers were attacked by a large group of German fighter planes. During the dogfight, one British bomber found itself flying alone with no protection, and suddenly, a German fighter appeared out of nowhere. The crew of the bomber watched as the German plane moved closer and closer. The bomber crew prepared for the worst and watched helplessly as tracer bullets began spitting from the fighter. Bullets whizzed by them, over and over until, five bullets slammed into the fuselage of the bomber near the gas tank. The crew braced for the explosion, but nothing happened. They could see fuel pouring from the bullet holes, but there was no explosion. Miraculously, they were able to make it back to their base and get safely off the plane.
A few hours after they had landed, one of the mechanics showed up in the crew’s barracks. He had found five slugs inside the fuel tanks, crumpled but not exploded. He handed the slugs to the pilot. The pilot carefully pried open the slugs and to the crew’s amazement found each one empty of explosives. Inside one of the bullets was a tiny wad of paper. When he unfolded the paper he found a note which read: “We are Polish POW’s – forced to make bombs in a factory. When the guards do not look we do not fill with gunpowder. It is not much, but is the best we can do. Please tell our families we are alive.” The note was signed by four Polish Prisoners of War. It wasn’t much, but it meant life to that British bomber squad! (“Messy Spirituality” by Mike Yaconelli). Seemingly overlooked people and unimportant events, may prove to be the most valuable people performing the greatest actions in the world.
On His last trip to Jerusalem, Jesus was in Herod’s Temple, standing by the treasury. Mark stated that He “began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury” (Mark 12:41). As Jesus watched, “many rich people were putting in large sums.” You can imagine the pomp and circumstance surrounding the giving of wealthy donors. Jesus had just warned His disciples to, “Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes…and like…chief seats in the synagogue and places of honor at banquets” (verses 38-39). They wore expensive flowing robes, sat in the dignified seats and expected preferential treatment.
What caught the Lord’s attention were not the extravagant gifts of the wealthy, but the menial offerings of a pauper. “A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent” (verse 42). She gave two lepta, which was the smallest bronze Jewish coin in Palestine. It equaled the value of one penny, which was 1/64th of a Roman Denarius, a day’s wage for a laborer.
However, in the Lord’s sight, that miniscule amount was enormous. Jesus said, “This poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury” (verse 43). What made those two mites so large? Jesus praised her because proportionately, she had given most. He said the wealthy, “put in out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on” (verse 44). The widow sacrificially gave all she had. She gave 100%. She, not they, was God’s choice tool!
Consider what God can do with a little. He used a small boy with a sling and stone to defeat a giant (1 Samuel 17). He enabled one man to slay 1,000 with the jawbone of a donkey (Judges 15). He whittled an army of 32,000 to 300 and then empowered them to defeat an enemy numbering 120,000 (Judges 7—8).
Scripture reveals that, “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen…so that no man may boast before God” (1 Cor. 1:27-29).
Did you graduate at the top of your class? Are you successful in your business? Do you have graduate degrees? If so, God can use you, but He has to work at it! He specializes in using common, ordinary, average people to accomplish great things in His service. That way there is no doubt that God did it, and He gets all the glory!
The Lord can use YOU and ME. He wants us to be FAITHFUL to do what we can with what we have, for His glory. What matters is not what you would do for the Lord if you had the money, the time, or the talent—it is what you do for Him now—where you are— with what you have—that makes the difference! Receive Him, honor and serve Him today! Remember the widow’s mites!