When you’re born second, everything your older sibling gets to do looks great.
Take, for example, when I was about three and my sister was six. One day she showed me the money she’d saved from her allowance and explained that she was going to buy a toy she had seen on television. What a terrific idea! An allowance was not allowed to me yet, but I had found a couple of pennies. I was determined, when our parents took us to the store that evening, to buy something with them too.
So, with my two cents safely tucked away in my pocket, I scoured the shelves in the toy section for something, anything, within my price range. Surely there was a small plaything my little coins could buy. Sis laughed at me and explained that I would need hundreds of times more money than I had to purchase even the cheapest item. Hundreds of times more? To my childish mind, I might just as well have needed millions of pennies.
I was horribly distraught upon learning that my entire net worth was, well, pretty much worthless.
But then I found something I had enough money for. By the store’s exit was a machine full of brightly colored orbs. Painted upon the glass globe containing them was the text “Gum 1¢.”
At last! Something I could buy! It would cost only one of my two coins!
And that %@*#! gumball machine stole my money.
I sobbed all the way to the car. When my mother asked why I was so upset, I told her. “Oh, for goodness sake,” she scoffed. “If it’s only a penny, I’ll give you one!”
This made me cry even louder. What I had was so worthless, it could be simply given away as though it were nothing?
When we look into the gospel, we see the story of another girl whose two small copper coins were all she had. This poor widow put into the Temple treasury her entire net worth. As a person who once lost half of all her money, I can begin to understand just how much this cost her.
The Bible doesn’t tell us what happened to the widow after that. But God, I am sure, is not outdone in His generosity, especially when He Himself proclaimed that she had given more than all the rest. Her reward in Heaven must have been exceedingly great. We’re not buying His grace, but we can always count on Him to give back infinitely more than we have given Him.
God, certainly, is more reliable than any darn gumball machine.