Recently, my family and I were blessed to be able to help lead the Yellowstone Creation Tour and we had a blast! We had beautiful weather, we saw a lot of animals, and had great fellowship praising God and enjoying His creation together.
Now, here is a confession…I am a nerd. I get excited about the furthering education about all of the history, the facts and the creation evidence as seen at Yellowstone and it is just an amazing experience to be able to go through that National Park on that tour! Because I get so excited about the learning and experience, sometimes, I don’t realize or remember how special it is to experience Yellowstone together as a group. The education and sights are great, but the people make the trip a true joy!
One lady in particular was “all in” the whole weekend. She was a long way from home and testified that she clearly saw God’s hand in providing the way for her to be there that weekend for our tour. Her joy, excitement and wonder was infectious and throughout the weekend, to my family and I, she started as a complete stranger but truly became a kindred spirit. You could tell that her speech and way of life was seasoned with grace and truth and again joy… though she has endured some very hard experiences in her life.
She was not affluent at all, but very faithful, and at the end of the weekend (as we were saying our goodbyes), she tucked a small wad of cash into my hand – saying that she felt the Lord leading her to give that as a gift to us. Now, as a missionary, I have had this happen to me a few times before – one time it was 25, one time it was 50, and even one time it was 100 (which has been very encouraging). But this time, I was struck by the experience – this dear lady wanting to bless us gave a small wad totaling 23 dollars. 23. She could have stopped at 20 when counting out that contribution, but wholeheartedly wanting to bless, she grabbed the whole amount. She may not have even known how much she actually gave. To me, it was a stark reminder that every dollar is significant.
Honestly, I am not sure yet how to use that small wad of cash. Though I could use the extra money, maybe the right thing to do is to give it all away to someone else who God brings across my path who might need it more. God has blessed us so much, hasn’t He?!?!
Maybe the next time you are writing that tithe check to church or some ministry that you support, maybe write 23 instead of 20 or 52 instead of 50 or 104 instead of 100. Maybe you have an extra 23 dollars that you can pray and ask God where to give it to. Let us give with a willing hand and heart for those that need it…for God’s glory!
By Brian Mariani