He came running to the door with his hand held out, “Mommy, Mommy, look what I have for you! Flowers! They are for you Mommy!” I looked at the golden offering in his tiny hand. Dandelion heads. They didn’t even have the stems. He didn’t know he had just picked me a bunch of weeds. With the beaming smile on his face it was as if he was handing me a bouquet of roses. He was so proud!
What Momma’s heart isn’t moved by such an offering? It might as well have been a bouquet of roses.
I took the golden offering inside, filled a bowl of water and carefully placed the dandelion heads in it, making sure each flower was facing up. Then I placed the tiny bowl of golden flowers on the table where it would be in full view and smiled. Sweet boy.
The value of these flowers were weighed not in the quality of the gift but in the preciousness of the hands who offered them to me. He made these flowers valuable. He made them a precious offering to my heart.
I kept thinking of this every time my eyes caught upon the golden offering. And then this verse came to mind…
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.
Romans 1:1 The Message
My life, it can feel like I am picking weeds most days… laundry, cooking, wiping bottoms and noses, washing dishes, sweeping floors, shuttling kids… it doesn’t seem like much. It isn’t that impressive. I certainly don’t live a life where I feel like I am arranging beautiful bouquets day in and day out. The stuff of my life often feels like common place dandelion heads, without even the stems so they can be properly put in a vase. And yet Paul in Romans 12:1 says whatever our life is made up of, this is what we are to offer to God, whether from our perspective it seems like an impressive offering or not. Another translation puts it this way…
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. NIV
“Present your bodies.” Paul is not solely talking about our physical body, our flesh and bone, but all that we do in the body… our whole life. The word “body” here means the complete person; one’s whole self. Present all you do in your life as a sacrifice, as an offering. Eugene Peterson’s the Message gets at this understanding… “take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life.” Everything that makes up the whole of your existence… what you do in your body day in and day out, your enacted, embodied life, take this, Paul says, and hold it out to God as an offering, just as my son held out that handful of golden weeds to me.
And this, Paul says, is holy and pleasing to God… in offering our lives, whatever it consists of, and holding out it to God, this delights God. When we offer ourselves to God, when we take our everyday ordinary life, our waking up and eating life, our changing diapers and getting kids ready life, our work in the office and work at home life, our places of struggle and moments of joy life… when we offer it all to God, and simply say, “Lord, here is where I am at today, this is what my life looks like today, take it, it is yours”… this is something that brings Him pleasure. And not only does it please God, but Paul says when we do this, we are engaged in true and real worship of our God.
If only we could understand the delight we bring God just by giving him the simple offering of our lives! When we live our everyday, ordinary lives acknowledging God in the midst of it, remembering his goodness toward us, giving thanks and recognizing the gifts around us, even when we turn to him in the struggle (that too is an offering!!), this brings God pleasure. He is pleased, pleased with whatever offering we hold out in our hand, meager though they may seem at times.
As I thought about the smile on my son’s face as he offered me those weeds, how it filled my heart with such pleasure, I thought, isn’t that how God feels when I offer to God even the most unimpressive parts of my day. It isn’t much, but I think it move’s God’s heart just as much as the person who is doing what I deem like more impressive things, because it comes from me, His child, whom He loves so much.
Because you see the beauty and worth of the offering is not measured by the caliber of the offering but by the worth of the tiny hands that hold the offering before God.
Those dandelion heads were beautiful because my son thought to give them to me! A gift from his heart to mine. And they couldn’t have been more precious!
God delights in the stuff of our life that we offer him, though it might not seem like much to us. Our lives might not be flashy or seem that important or significant according to the world’s standards, but God, He sees it, He sees the life that we offer up, and He says, “I am pleased. Well done my child. What a precious offering.”