I have this problem where it’s easy for me to say I’m “trusting God.” And then He puts those words to the test, and I realize I really struggle with how to trust God. He’s done this time and time again. There’s one time in particular that I can vividly remember as God put my faith and my trust to the test.
I was sitting in the center row at church with the equivalent of eight quarters in my hand (if you’re good at math, you’ll know that’s $2). I was convinced the people next to me could hear my heart pounding in my chest. I knew what was coming next in our service, and sure enough, with a quick glance to my left, I could see the daunting offering bucket quickly approaching, and I had a decision to make.
For weeks, my pastor had been talking about the tithe—how we’re called to give the first 10 percent of our paychecks back to God. My pastor explained that, just as God gives and provides to us, we are to trust Him and honor Him by returning the tithe. I had finally made my first $20 paycheck after two hours of wrangling a group of toddlers.
I knew in my head what I was supposed to do with the $2 in my now sweaty hands. But do you want to know what my $2 felt like as the offering bucket loomed closer and closer?
Insignificant. Too small to be worthy of consideration. What could God possibly do with $2? That’s barely enough money to buy a 32-ounce fountain drink at a convenience store. That’s maybe enough for fries and a drink from the McDonald’s value menu. But enough to impact the kingdom of God? How was that even possible?
But then I remembered one of my favorite stories in the Bible. A widow was in serious debt and the creditor was coming to take her two sons. So she cried out to the prophet Elisha, begging for help. When he asked her what she had in her home, her response was this:
… “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.” 2 Kings 4:2 NIV
Elisha responded by telling her to go around to all of her neighbors and ask for empty jars. Once they did, the widow and her two sons were to go inside, close the door, and pour what little oil they had into the empty jars. So they poured until they had more oil than jars.
Yeah, you read that right. They poured until they had more oil than jars. The widow was able to pay back her debts, save her sons from prison, and have enough oil left over to live on—all with the oil she had seen as insignificant.
If God could fill jars with a little bit of oil, what could He do with my $2?
Here’s the thing about God. He doesn’t care about the amount you bring, He cares about the size of your faith. God has been in the business of doing a lot with a little since the beginning of time. He did more with David’s five stones than an army did with all of their weapons. He used a little boy’s lunch to feed 5,000 people. He filled endless containers until there was more oil than jars. And He could do more with my $2 than I could do with my full $20.
So as the gap between the bucket and my hands closed, I decided to trust God—to obediently say “yes” to Him. To take one step closer to Him by taking one step away from my selfish nature. When the bucket made its way into my hands, I felt the release as the cash—and my heart—fell into His hands.
There is freedom in that first release to trust God through the tithe. There is power in remembering that He can do more with 90 percent of your income than you can do with 100 percent.
If you’re on the cusp of that pivotal moment, I’d encourage you to try it out. Because that day taught me more about how to trust in God, and I’ve seen Him continue to be trustworthy.
Here’s a prayer you can pray to help you take that step:
God, thank You for specializing in doing significant things with what seems insignificant to us. I want to trust You with every area of my life—including my finances. I’m a little nervous about it, so I ask that You would calm my fears with Your perfect love and give me the faith to trust in You. Help me overcome any areas of unbelief in my heart, and remind me of Your goodness, faithfulness, and trustworthiness. I know that You will take care of me. I trust You. And I ask that You would multiply my offering and use it to advance Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name, amen.