Finn, a Siamese fighting fish, lived at our house for two years. My young daughter would often bend down to talk with him after dropping food into his tank. When the topic of pets came up in kindergarten, she proudly claimed him as her own. Eventually, Finn passed away, and my daughter was heartbroken.
My mother advised me to listen closely to my daughter’s feelings and tell her, “God knows all about it.” I agreed that God knows everything, yet wondered, How will that be comforting? Then it occurred to me that God isn’t simply aware of the events in our lives—He compassionately sees into our souls and knows how they affect us. He understands that “little things” can feel like big things depending on our age, past wounds, or lack of resources.
Jesus saw the real size of a widow’s gift—and heart—as she dropped two coins into a temple collection box. He described what it meant for her as He said, “This poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. . . . [She put in] all she had to live on” (Mark 12:43–44).
The widow kept quiet about her situation but Jesus recognized that what others considered a tiny donation was a sacrifice to her. He sees our lives in the same way. May we find comfort in His limitless understanding.
God, thank You for knowing me completely and loving me. Help me to feel Your comfort when I consider Your infinite knowledge of my life.
The word treasury in Mark 12:41 and 43 translates the word gazophulakion; this compound word is from gaza, “a treasure” and phulake, “a place where something is guarded.” Together they carry the meaning “treasure house.” The word was used by the first-century Jewish historian Josephus to refer to “a special room in the women’s court of the Temple in which gold and silver bullion was kept” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary). Gentiles were allowed within the confines of the temple but they were restricted to the space known as the Court of the Gentiles. Women could go farther but not beyond the Women’s Court. Inside the Women’s Court were thirteen trumpet-shaped chests where the offerings of the people were deposited. It’s been noted that of the thirteen chests, six were for gifts in general and seven were for distinct purposes. The widow that Jesus witnessed in the temple made her deposit into one of those receptacles.