Do What You Can
"She did what she could."
These five words tucked in the book of Mark, changed my life.
But before I get into that, let's review the story that added such depth to my life.
In the fourteenth chapter of Mark, we see the story of the woman with the alabaster box. Committing an act that many would scoff at, she makes a choice to pour an expensive jar of perfume on the head of Jesus.
Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. Mark 14:4-5
I can only imagine the emotion of shame that she must have felt in this moment. Feeling led to do something bold, yet misunderstood by the onlookers. But then,Jesus speaks.
“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you,and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” Mark 14:6-9
In this story, we see Jesus speak correction, not to the woman, but to the others who didn't understand her actions. He speaks hope and victory over her life. Her choice to do what she could or bring what she had to offer was more than enough for Jesus. Even more so, Jesus declares that her act was not only inspiring for the moment but that it would have generational influence. In fact, he said she would be talked about whenever the gospel is spoken of...and here we are.
Her actions were beautifully brave and widely misunderstood. Yet, they were accepted by Jesus. Side note: sometimes your only supporter will be Jesus but if He is giving you the idea...go for it!
In your own life, you may find yourself in the position of this woman with the alabaster box. Though we do not know her name, we see that her story inspires us to ask a vital question.
What can we bring?
What is our version of doing "what she could"?
For some, this may be making a choice to be kind every day. For others, it may be sharing with others in need. It may be ministering to others by song, written works, baking, encouraging, building, or teaching. Whatever your gift may be, this is your personal "could." If you are unsure of what your special thing is, it is most likely what you would willingly do for free.
Here's the thing, when we give what we can, there may be plenty who don't understand. There may be plenty who ask, "Why you are "wasting" your gift or your time?" But don't let anyone stop you from the moments God wants to use you to create! When you dare to be bold in your calling, the Lord will meet you there. This revolutionized my life as it released the pressure of comparison and frustration of adding more, more, more to my plate. God only requires me to do what I can at this moment. Right here, right now.
Rather than focusing on what another can and cannot do, ask the Lord to show you how He desires you to move in this time of your life.
Do what you can. Do it well. Do it for Jesus.
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith. Galatians 6:9-10