I did not see this coming. Our tour manager had already let me know that we were going to a church in one of the poorest counties in the country. He had informed me that these people may be discouraged. 60% of the church was unemployed. I was ready and prepared to be sensitive, positive, and possibly even encouraging.
Instead, these people fed me the best ribs I’ve ever had away from Beale St. They were kind and giving all day long. And I had carved out some time to spend with their pastor, hoping to be a support and encouragement to him. Instead, he both challenged and encouraged me. He had been leading his people through a study of the Bible that had fairly strongly centered on giving. He didn’t know how his people who couldn’t even care for themselves could be asked to give. And yet, the messages kept leaning that way. Sometimes extravagant giving is not giving a huge amount, but giving a small amount that you actually need. He had taught through the Bible. God asked Moses for the stick in his hand. A little boy gives up his lunch and Jesus feeds 5000 people. You give what God has given you. God doesn’t ask you to independently solve the world’s hunger problems. He asks you give what’s in your hand.
But his people had nothing to give. What can a church do when their people don’t have anything? So instead of giving up, they looked at what they did have. The church had land. Land that they couldn’t build on because they had no money. So instead, they started a garden. A 7-acre garden. And they grew food. And helped to feed their people and others. They gave what they had: land, time, and effort. And God blessed it.
I have to be honest. I left that place changed. We gave of what we had. Time. Music. Jon, our sound guy on the tour, rewired their whole sound system at the church. But I have to admit. I left the poorest church on the tour having received much more than I gave.
And I left wanting to share that story. To challenge people not to be overwhelmed by the needs you see, but to meet the needs you can. And so I gave in the way I know best… I wrote a song.
You can hear “Give What’s In Your Hand” on the new record How To Be Loved. Available on iTunes, in your local Christian store, or in the store here on toddagnew.com. And here are some of the stories behind the other songs on H2BL.
Give What’s In Your Hand
Don’t You Think
Your Great Name
3 thoughts on “H2BL Story Behind The Song: Give What’s In Your Hand”
What a wonderful blessing. when are you coming to Colorado?
“Give what’s in your hand” applies to giving to others, and it also applies to providing for your own needs. Several years ago when I was struggling as a single parent to make ends meet, God brought to my mind the same question He asked Moses. The answer wasn’t what was “in” my hands, but it was literally my hands. Shortly after this encounter, I was asked by a small church to be their pianist. It was a paid position, and the money not only breached the financial short fall–we also gained a loving, supportive family who stood with us in a very difficult time.
Just think of what impact the body of Christ could make in this world if every individual and every local church would give to others out of the time, resources, and gifts God has provided to them. It’s a great song, Todd, with a message which we all need to put into action.
Hello, family…1st time on the site and just read this marvelous story of God doing the remarkable with unremarkable people.
I was investing a couple of weeks traveling around parts of the US to raise money for a construction trip to Ukraine. A friend of mine set up with a little congregation of saints in Iowa. Must admit, I kind of thought it wasn’t worth my time but my friend insisted.
I’m not big on technology…no power point, no slick hand-outs, just a story of what God was calling me to do a few miles away from my comfort zone. An offering was received (and what a huge theologic shift for to go from ‘taking’ an offering to ‘receiving’ an offering).
I chatted with a couple people, grabbed what little stuff I had and was walking toward my motorcycle. The Pastor intercepted me with the gift of $100 and I knew in my heart these people didn’t give that much to some stranger they wouldn’t see again. But the story continues…
I forgot my gloves and went back to the front of the sanctuary. Got my stuff, thinking about sleep and where I had to be the next night when this guy comes in saying my name out loud: “…you still here?” I said yes, and was overwhelmed by a man who God was pleased with and he related parts of my story telling to events in his own life. I stood there listening and was blown away. The guy wraps up his story and said he wants to present a gift to me and presses some money into my hand. Small, not too heavy…I thanked him profusely and watched him walk away. As he left the sanctuary, I looked into my hand a saw a dime! C’mon, God, a dime?
I pushed the dime into my pocket and walked out to the bike. The Pastor came up to make a final goodbye and asked if such and such had spoken with me. My enthusiasm was lacking, and I said, ‘yes’ and he gave me a gift. I knew he wasn’t buying my fake thankfulness. He put his hand on my shoulder, looked at me, and said, “He gave you a dime, didn’t he?” I couldn’t believe he knew! He stepped up, gave me a hug, and told me this guy was completely blind and his gift represented his income.
Yea, I felt like dirt…the Pastor told me took for blessings in the unexpected places and I climbed on the bike and road off into the night. A few months later, when I returned from Ukraine, I found a letter waiting and inside was a check for several hundred bucks…all from this one believer, who gave from his heart…and I learned he went back to the Stae home, told his friends, and they took an offering which was now in my hands.
Oh, went I got back, the Mission agency office told me I had a surplus of funds and the entire cost of the trip was met and blessed above my ability to trust God.
My humbling experience with people giving ‘what’s in your hand’. I lost the dime somewhere on the road…good thing, too, because I would like have idolized it in some way.
Sing from your heart, dude, and be encouraged with God’s love.