Kimberly N. Alleyne
The Harvest Magazine, Publisher and Editor
I started feeling guilty about the penny. I had other pennies mixed in my pocket change, but this one was different because it was separate from my other change. There had been one, an old, dull one, on the counter. It had fallen out of my wallet several days before, and rather than dropping it in my contain for loose change (which is actually a plastic Tropicana bottle), I placed it on the kitchen counter right near the microwave. I am not sure why. I had been annoyed when it fell from my wallet to the floor, and I felt inconvenienced by it after I moved it to the counter. Again, I’m not sure why. It sat on the counter for several days, but still, I was annoyed by it. Ultimately, I plopped it in the trash bag on trash day and dumped the bag in the garbage can. I couldn’t wait for it to be gone.
I thought about the penny a few times during the day. I felt a wave of guilt each time. I couldn’t figure out why. It was just a penny. One cent. Change I didn’t need. I had no use for it.
Then it hit me. I remembered a time when I was making my way through a severe time of lack and insufficiency. Money was scarce. Things were so bad for me that I dumped every purse I had hoping loose change would fall. I was thankful for whatever I found, including pennies. Loose change came in handy more than a few times: buying groceries, buying gas, paying tolls on my way to job interviews. Pennies got me through. I realized I was guilty because, during that time, thanksgiving was my constant song. I thanked God for everything–including pennies.
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Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17
Pennies Are Pretty
Fast forward, and that drought is behind me (Hallelujah!). But so is my fervent thanksgiving. I definitely still thank God and express gratitude for all He’s done for me and is doing even now, but I admit I haven’t thanked Him for pennies since the drought. When I admitted this to myself, conviction pulsed in my gut. I had thrown away a penny, something God gave me. All good and perfect things come from God (James 1:17), and yes, that includes pennies. Do you ever look at something in your closet, your self, some facet of your life, a talent, a gift, or even a person and assign it a nominal value? Do you tell yourself that something dinged and bruised is worthless? I do and I have. I did that to the penny I threw away, but I’ve done it to myself my under estimating myself, my ideas, my talents, precious possessions God graced me to have, even people who’ve hurt me deeply.
The truth is all things, people, and circumstances have value, significance and purpose to us and more important, to God. Just because we had a greater need for a thing or person in another life season than we do now does not negate its present-day value. We don’t have the authority to assign value, only God does. In the same way, no one other than God gets to determine my worth or what I am good for. Others might see me as an old,dinged up penny ready for the trash, but my Daddy God says I am approved, perfect, worthy, and beautiful. Yes!!! His opinion is what matters.
Many factors determine the value of currency, but only God determines its value in our lives. He is our Jehovah Jireh in all seasons. In my drought, He gave me what I needed, even pennies, to see me through. Back then, all my pennies were good and perfect gifts, and I wouldn’t have trashed them. I should be just as grateful for them now as I was then. In this season, He is giving me a more mature heart to recognize His blessings in all things, and that includes pennies. I was wrong to trash that penny. God gave it to me; if I didn’t have a need for it, then likely someone in my mission field did. I am praying to be more discerning of God’s presence in all things–including pennies.
Every thing in our life has a purpose–including pennies.