What if you have nothing to give God? Nothing to present to Him as an offering?
When I was in middle school, my parents had their own business, an old-fashioned Pharmacy/Soda Fountain. The building had been in my family since 1885 as a hardware store. When my grandparents died, my dad, a pharmacist, and my mom, a home-economics major kept “the store”, as we call it, in the family.
But, in the early 1990’s, it was hard for a “mom & pop” pharmacy to make it, as all insurance companies do not support non-chain pharmacies. Money became tighter & tighter. Hand-me-down clothes were worn by my sister & I, there were no family vacations, and all non-essential items were cut from the budget.
There was no income coming in. Once savings accounts were also depleted, there was no tithe money. This killed my dad. My parents always taught about how tithing was so important. I saw how God provided for them over & over. But what do you do when you have nothing to give?
You give God your praise.
My dad had a song that he LOVED during this short period in our lives. I don’t know the title, or the artist, but I know the lines, and here’s one:
“If it’s Praise You Want, Lord, I’ll praise You.”
This song was on repeat. He played it All. The. Time. This man poured out his praise to God when there was nothing else to give. My parents taught my sister & I how to praise God. How to pray. How to be thankful.
But what if you can’t praise God either? What if you are in a storm of life, and you can’t see where you could praise God?
This was my view as I was getting ready for work today. The sky was GOURGEOUS! I couldn’t help but stop & praise God for his handiwork! He’s the ultimate artist! This picture does not do it justice, but as the sun was rising, there was a greyish cloud cover that cast such beautiful sun rays across the multi-colored leaves.
Even when “life” tries to get in the way of our praise, by looking outside—at the sky, at the clouds, at the trees, you can find something to praise God for. Try it. You’ll be in a different frame of mind when you bring praise to the Lord.
If you don’t, the rocks will:
“As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting:
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”
In case you are curious….what happened with “the store”???…….
My dad had previously been a Kroger Pharmacist before “the store”. Just in the knick of time (which, I’ve discovered, is exactly how God likes to operate), a representative with Kroger came to “the store”. Kroger offered to buy our prescription drug inventory & offered to reinstate my dad’s years of service. It would be like he never left Kroger to do “the store”.
The big picture view….had dad not been with Kroger at the time of his stroke, he would not have had the benefits that working for a large company offers…no disability payments, and certainly not the level of health insurance.
My parents praised God when there was nothing to give and my, how God provided.
By the way, the Kroger representative came to the store on Christmas Eve. This was my most memorable Christmas. One where we celebrated God’s gifts—the gift of His son, Jesus, and the gift of providing for our family. We didn’t need gifts under the tree.
Be faithful. Give, even when there’s nothing to give. Praise God, even through storms. You won’t regret it.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.”