The irony of the fact that I wrote my last post regarding financial provision in the midst of a month where “everything” has gone wrong is not lost on me. So far this month, we’ve experienced several out-of-the-ordinary crises’ including:
A broken sink, a leaking water pipe, a broken toilet, a flat tire, malfunctioning break lights, a buggy computer, a van that is cutting off each time I’m at a red light and last but not least, a broken dishwasher (discovered just today… two days before we’re scheduled to have a house full of guests here for several days. This, on top of a kitchen sink that is still broken.)
The bible says that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy” (Rev 19:10). Giving, hearing, and sharing testimony is an important aspect of a believer’s life. It builds our faith, lifts our spirits and draws us closer to God, enabling us to rely more fully on His promises. Tonight I’d like to share some testimonies of past acts of provision in our lives in hopes that by writing the accounts of God’s provision, my own faith will be strengthened – and yours, too…
It’s All God’s Money
When the man who used to mow our lawn asked if we’d be willing to sell one of our cars, my husband and I decided to give it to him without asking for payment. The car had been sitting in our driveway for over a year due to some engine problems and the man had a father who was a mechanic and would be able to fix it. We’d been given a van the year before by my step-mom, so we wanted to bless someone else in a similar way.
When I went with the man (I’ll call him Mark) to transfer the title, he informed me that if I told the county clerk that we were giving him the car for free, we would be charged $500 for it (I have no idea why this is, but this is the case in the city we live in.) He told me, instead, to tell the clerk that we’d charged him $100 so that we would not have to pay this fine. I told him that I didn’t want to lie to the clerk, but when we got to the counter and they asked how much we were selling the car for, Mark spoke before I could and said “One hundred dollars.” I didn’t feel comfortable contradicting him in front of the clerk (I felt it would be disrespectful, and I also didn’t want to accuse him of lying), so I said nothing. When the clerk looked up my information, however, she discovered some sort of error we had to fix before we could transfer the title. Relieved, I went home and told my husband about the situation. We agreed that we weren’t going to lie, and we also didn’t feel right about asking Mark to pay us when we’d already told him he could have the vehicle for free. So we decided to pay the $500 and trust God to meet our needs.
A few days later, after getting the error cleared up, my husband went in with the Mark to transfer the title, and Mark once again informed him about the fine and encouraged him to tell the clerk that he’d paid for the vehicle. Please understand, I don’t think he felt he was doing anything wrong, he just didn’t want to see us pay $500 to give away a car! My husband refused and said to Mark: “Let’s not sin in order to save money. It’s all God’s money and if we have to pay this, then God will pay us back.” Mark then asked my husband to let him pay him something for the car, but again my husband refused. When they got to the front of the line, the clerk asked for the amount we sold the car for, and my husband told her we were giving it away. He was then informed that he would have to pay $500 to transfer the title. My husband agreed, and the clerk turned back to her computer and entered in the information. As she was doing so, Mark again pleaded with my husband to let him pay something for the car. Once more, my husband refused. The clerk finished with her typing and then turned to my husband and said: “that will be $35.” Confused, my husband asked “what about the $500 we have to pay?” She said, “No, $35 is all you have to pay.” Again he asked “don’t we have to pay the $500 because we’re giving the car away?” Once more, she informed him that he owed $35. Dumfounded, even Mark (who had been trying to save us from this fee all along!) mentioned the fee, but once again she quoted $35. I have no idea how this happened or why we were only asked to pay only $35 that day. All I know is that day God honored our obedience to Him and delivered us in a mighty way. And I like to think that maybe he planted a seed in Mark’s heart that day, too.
“Honor the Lord with your wealth… then your barns will be filled to overflowing” (Proverbs 3:9-10).
My Dad’s Name is Yahweh
A few years ago, our water heater broke and we were without hot water for several weeks. I must admit that I’m totally spoiled by modern conveniences – I HATED being without hot water! But we did the best we could as we waited for the extra paycheck my husband would be getting that month and we were all looking forward to life with warm showers again. During that time, we were also trying to help some friends of ours sort out their budget. Despite his tendency to spend too much at the grocery ;) my husband is really good with money and budgeting, so we were going through this couple’s bank account to help them with their finances. In the end, they were in debt by several hundred dollars and our hearts went out to them.
One night, we were sitting on the couch discussing the situation and lamenting our inability to help in a tangible way when God dropped a thought into my head. We DID have the ability to help our friends. But it would mean sacrificing our extra paycheck. And THAT would mean living for even longer without a hot water heater. My husband and I spoke together and prayed for a long time about this, before coming to the decision that we would help our friends and continue without a hot water heater. To be honest, I think that was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done! But we did it, and with every cold shower I took afterward I was reminded that “it is better to give than to receive.” :)
A few days after we gave away the money from our extra paycheck, I stepped out of yet another cold shower when a thought hit me. If my dad was a billionaire and I needed a hot water heater, wouldn’t he get one for me if I asked him to? If God is my Heavenly Father, would he do any less? Right then, I prayed and asked God what I’d failed to ask Him before: to meet our needs and send us a hot water heater.
A few days later, a check arrived in the mail. “This is for your hot water heater” it said.
“He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, And He will pay back what he has given” (Pro 19:17).
Full and Abundant Tires
My husband works at a behavioral hospital and has been blessed with the privilege of running several groups with the kids there, including a church service twice a week. One morning, after driving all the way to work (about thirty miles) on a spare tire, he decided to preach on John 10:10 (“Jesus has come to give life… and life abundantly.”) He spoke of the fact that God wants to provide for us and that He wants us to have not only what we need, but above and beyond what we need. Using our van as an example in a somewhat daring display of faith, he proclaimed: “I don’t have the money to fix my tire. But God does, and he’s going to give me a new tire.” (At this point, had I been there, I would have been waving my arms in the back of the room in an effort to make him stop talking!) He went on: “In fact, God isn’t satisfied to simply replace my tire. He wants me to have life abundantly. I believe that He’s going to give me four new tires!” (All I can say is I’m glad I wasn’t there because I think I might have disrupted his sermon right then and there!) The next day, my husband gathered up what was supposed to be our grocery money for the next week and headed to the mechanic. After looking at it, the mechanic told him the tire couldn’t be patched and informed him that all of the tires were in bad shape. He then told my husband to wait a while to see if they had any spare tires that would fit our van and came back with one he could use. After putting it on the van, my husband went to pay but was informed that he didn’t need to pay for the tires. “They were just sitting out back,” the mechanic said. “I just pulled it off an old van and you don’t need to pay me anything.”
Later that same night, my mother-in-law called to inform us that she’d been given a large sum of money and wanted to split it between herself and her two sons. That sum was enough for us to buy four brand new tires.
“I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
Moving Man, by God, Through Prayer Alone
Even before we started our lives together, God was working in our finances. When God spoke to my heart and told me that my husband and I would soon be married, the emphasis was on “soon.” Only a few weeks later, we were planning a wedding we had very little money for. It was tax season, so we were able to buy my dress and our wedding invitations with our return checks, but that left no money for rings, photography, a wedding cake, coordinator, pastor’s fee, etc. Relying on God alone for our needs has been a theme for my husband and I from the beginning, so even in our wedding plans we committed to telling no one of our lack of funds, relying instead on God to provide what we needed.
The first deliverance happened when my Dad called and asked if we’d picked out our wedding rings yet. I told him we’d picked them out but hadn’t bought them. He then asked how much they were and informed me that he was buying them for us. Then a woman who worked with my husband volunteered to photograph our wedding. She was working on launching a photography business and needed some pictures for her portfolio. Another woman from Jon’s work, who had a bakery business on the side, volunteered to make us a cake (I can’t remember if she charged us anything, but if she did it was very little.) After I bought my dress, I needed to have it altered so I called a friend of mine who’d made the costumes for a musical I was in several years ago. She informed me that she was not able to work on my wedding dress, but gave me the number of someone who could. As it turned out, that “someone” was another woman whom my husband had worked with and she donated her services to us (she asked us to pay her with a picture of me on my wedding day :)). My step-mom had friends at work who got together to cater our reception and our pastor lined us up with a wedding coordinator who never charged us for her services. My mom bought me many of the items I needed as a new bride, my dad paid for our honeymoon resort, my mother-in-law paid for the rehearsal dinner and my husband’s tuxedo and my step dad (who was no longer married to my mom at that time, but walked me down the isle with my dad – which is a really special memory for me) gave us much of the money we needed for expenses while on our honeymoon.
So in the end, our wedding rings were bought for us, the photography services were donated, our wedding cake was free (or practically free), the reception was catered by volunteers, the rehearsal dinner and tuxedo were paid for, my dress was altered free of charge, our honeymoon was paid for, and we were never charged by the church, the wedding coordinator, or the pastor. And we never told anyone that we didn’t have the money to get married!
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, you will have all that you need” (2 Cor 9:8).
Houses Full of Good Things
Even our home is a testimony to God’s faithfulness and provision. For many years after we moved into our new home, we had very little furniture and what little furniture we did have was falling apart. Our only sofa was collapsing, our kitchen table was too small for us and our bed sagged in the middle. When my husband’s grandparents passed away, they left behind a beautiful home filled with furniture that no one wanted. Although they could have sold it for a great deal of money, my mother-in-law and her sister instead decided instead to give it to us. My mother-in-law has also, more than once, given us very large sums of money that have not only allowed us to buy a fifteen passenger van when we were in need of a larger vehicle, but enabled us to buy a dishwasher, a front loading washer and dryer, and several other things that have made my home life easier. My dad and step-mom recently gave us the money to put in a new hardwood floor (that should be going in next month!) and also gave us our very first van. Over and over again, God has shown Himself faithful not only for what we need, but in so many cases, for what we want as well. His love is amazing!
“And I will give you houses full of all good things which you did not fill” (Deut 6:11).
Oh, and that list I gave you of all the things that have happened to us this month? My husband was able to fix the leaking water pipe and the broken toilet. Our flat tire was plugged for free, and a techie friend fixed our computer without charging us. Our dishwasher is still under warranty and over the last two weeks we have received a total of $200 from two people who felt led by God to give to us… neither of whom knew of our needs.
“And God will supply ALL of our needs according to His riches!” (Phil 4:19)
I’m Switching Banks! … trusting God to provide