Leave It All On The Field
Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.” Mark 12:42-44
In my early twenties, I played on a ladies slow-pitch softball team at the company where I worked. Just to be clear and for the avoidance of doubt, I have less than zero athletic ability. It's definitely in the negative numbers. Even so, a kind, older gentleman who was coaching our team, noticed my extreme lack of ability and took it upon himself to coach me.
This coach showed me how to stand, where to stand, how to hold the bat, how to watch the ball all the way to the bat--and most of all--to play with all my heart and leave it all on the field.
After each practice, the coach would grade my performance. More often than not, he would tell me that I had improved, but that he was disappointed I had not given my all. "Next time, let's see you leave it all on the field, alright? Nothing in reserve. Play with every ounce of life you have."
When the first game rolled around, Coach gave us all the pep talk, but I saw that I wasn't even in the lineup.
"Coach, how can I leave it all on the field when I'm stuck on the bench?" I asked.
"When I see you leave it all on the practice field, then we'll see about putting you in the lineup," he said.
Week after week, I practiced, but I knew I wasn't any good. I had no talent. Then one day, I took my usual seat on the bench and heard my name, "Nimmons, you're up!"
When I stepped up to bat, I gave it everything I had, and actually got a base hit. As my 90-pound frame stood breathless on first base, I could hear the coach yell, "Leave it all on the field!"
I think the Christian life is like that. In Mark 12:42-44, the poor widow gave everything she had. She held nothing back. She didn't think about saving half for retirement. She. Gave. Jesus. Everything.
What about you?
Are you holding anything back from God? Is there any area of your life you haven't allowed Him complete control over?
Matthew 10:39 tells us, "If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it."
And likewise, Matthew 16:24 says, "Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.'"
There's something remarkable that occurs when we leave it all on the field for God--we win. We are in the center of God's will, and we experience the fullness of joy in Him. It is much greater, much deeper than any feeling we might experience that is dependent on circumstance. It becomes a constant. It is the fabric of who we are as His child.
"And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life." Matthew 19:29
Jesus is calling you to leave it all on the field for Him.