“Now it is faith to believe that which you do not yet see;
and the reward of this faith is to see that which you believe.”
-Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

What happens when your faith grows enough that you actually trust and obey God in money matters even when doing that seems utterly mad?

A) God intervenes and supplies all needs, and all turns out well?

B) Finances go from bad to worse, and soon it looks certain that such radical trusting was madness?

I saw the answer in living color that year I went back to teaching, that winter of my wild intent…


It was cold, that un-insulated room in January, I remember that. Teeth-chattering cold. Tiny that room was, but not tiny enough for one small woman’s body-heat, emanating from the stark twin bed, to warm it. Winds blew fiercer, this side of the house. That’s why Little One got Bigger Room, also to enjoy more cheery sunlight and better cushioning of superhighway noise whooshing by outside, constant as ocean waves down at the Jersey shore.

I shivered, but what robbed my sleep that restless night wasn’t cold—but worry.

It was late. I needed sleep. But my agitation wouldn’t allow it. Perched on the bed’s edge, scratching tense numbers all over lined school paper, I added, subtracted, pondered, schemed—trying to make it work.

It didn’t. I couldn’t possibly live more frugally than now, couldn’t cut a single budget item. What was I going to do!

I calmed myself. Maybe leave out the tithe this month? God would understand.

No, even then, I couldn’t pay the whopping car insurance, plus the bigger heat bill, plus everything else.

Borrow money on my bank line of credit?

Just to owe it later, plus interest? No! Debt had been partly what got me where I now was. I did not want to go back there.

Ask for an advance on my pay?

I’d only run short later. Maybe keep falling behind…

Call Mom and Dad?

No way. They’d unknowingly been my answered prayer three times already…

Suddenly, I decided. Crumpling my scribbled papers, I flung them in the wastebasket, declared to God, “I haven’t squandered. You’ve always supplied. I’m just going to keep trusting You!” And I climbed in between those cold sheets and went decidedly, soundly, to sleep.


Pay day. (Monthly pay day.) I wrote checks. First one? Tithe! This was an act of faith, a plunge. I’d plunged a lot in recent years, and hadn’t hit concrete yet.

Next? Oil bill. Nonpayment could mean no fuel delivery. Next, rent. Similar reason: Don’t lose the roof overhead. Then day care (If you don’t pay, they don’t care)…

I’d wait for the child support check and pay a few more bills with it. Beyond that… I decided not to ask anyone. I decided not even to tell anyone. I’d just trust God—alone.

The month rolled on. So did the car, back and forth to and from work, burning up gas. Fridge and cupboard were emptying out… And the child support check didn’t come—First. Time. Ever!

And so I reached that morning: Seven cents in the wallet, gas gauge on E, and all those money demands before evening—and I laughed. (No, it was not hysteria. Check it out here.)

I once heard someone compare Christian faith to climbing a tree, going out on a limb, sawing off the limb… and watching the tree fall down. Well, I was there now! What would fall? Tree or limb?

I prayed, turned the ignition key, drove off to the day care center, then work—and got there! How I’d get home was a problem for later. Right now I was down to trusting God not just one day, but one hour, at a time.

At school: busy, busy. So busy, I forgot my crisis (really!)—till recess. Then I visited the office to get my mail. There in my mailbox, what was this? Plain envelope, my name on it. With no clue, I still couldn’t wait to get it open! Frantic fingers, fumbling…

Sure enough, inside was a crisp ten-dollar bill. And a note. Signed by one of the secretaries. Was she writing for herself, or someone else? I’d never gotten any note from her before. “This is to help defray the evening’s expenses. This is strictly confidential.”

Who had engineered this? Why?

I had no inkling, on the human level.

But I knew the Ultimate Source! Near bursting, I wanted to leap down those ancient, proper, prep-school steps shouting, “Praise the Lord!”

I kept my decorum, however, of course, but inside my joy was exploding.

Back home, the cupboard sat bare. So did the gas tank here. But I now had enough to stretch between a bit of gas and barely enough to pay the babysitter. And we’re only supposed to concern ourselves with one day at a time, right? Just like with the manna?

Still, I couldn’t wait to get home and look in my mailbox there…


I pulled in the driveway, put the car in Park. Jumped out, ran to said mailbox. There, inside, just two bits of mail.

1) Apology note from my landlady, sorry the escrow interest (I didn’t know she owed me) was late. And a check.

2) Bank statement—for an account I didn’t know I still had!

This was no fortune—thirty-five dollars in the bank account, less in the escrow check—but enough to stretch beyond hours to days, for just enough gas and food to scrape through the week.

It finally came then, too, the child support check.

And the call into the lower school office. Would I be willing to take these two after-school tutoring jobs?

So by its end, that month yielded more income than any in years. All bills paid! Cash to spare! And an unforgettable faith lesson that helps me even up to today: 

Not to worry about money.


Thanking Him today…

~for showing me I can always depend on Him.

~for showing me it is not foolish to obey His seemingly foolish commandments and instructions.

~for always supplying whatever I need

~for taking me through the blessed straits where I could learn the best lessons, which come nowhere else

~for His sure words that show me what to trust

~for the stories of trust and supply others shared with me, that helped me learn God-trust.


REASONS TO PRAISE HIM from Matthew 6:24-33.

  • 358 – Because He knows, as our heavenly Father, what things we have need of before we ask
  • 359 – Because He clothes the lilies of the field even more spectacularly than even Solomon in all His glory
  • 360 – Because He promises to clothe us, too, oh us of little faith
  • 361 – Because He feeds even the birds, who need not sow or reap or store in barns
  • 362 – Because He will surely then feed His children
  • 363 – Because His eye is on the sparrow, and not one of them falls to the ground without His knowing
  • 364 – Because in His eyes each of His children is worth more than many sparrows.
  • 365 – Because He promises that whoever seeks first His kingdom and His righteousness will find all these things added to him/her.
  • 366 – Because His own therefore do not have to worry about tomorrow.


35 thoughts on “Crazy Faith Day

  1. I never tire of hearing of God’s provision and while you have shared this with me before–it was great to read it and be reminded. Our Awesome God…

  2. I’m the same way, Laurie. I love hearing people’s stories like this — and really, there seem to be so many. Such evidence of a loving, all-knowing God! Thanks for commenting. And God bless your week!

  3. Dear Sylvia,

    After years of abundance, I am in a place of pinching pennies. This “giver” has nothing to give and cannot go “out with the girls” whenever she pleases nor can she take someone less fortunate with her. I am she. It is a good place that I needed reminded of. Thanks for this story of faith in such times.


  4. Dear Dawn,
    It can become the most blessed of times. And it is interesting that it was when I had almost nothing to give that I *started* to give! I often think of how Paul said he had learned to be contented whether in plenty or in want, and how I’ve actually found it harder to be contented in plenty! God bless you today with a special blessing!

  5. PS to Dawn:
    Just in reply to your “this ‘giver’ has nothing to give”…
    Oh, my, that’s not true! Nor that you are not giving. What you are now giving, in so many forms may far outweigh tons of money that clinks in a plate!
    Be encouraged, dear Dawn.

  6. I love a good story of “faith!” Thanks so much for this inspiring post, Sylvia. I think every believer needs to go through something like this at least once in their lives. I’ve been there and it really brings back bittersweet memories and I know it was a foundational experience for my faith today.

  7. Yes, Beth, I agree. How else would we *know*? Bittersweet foundational time in my life, too. Thanks so much for your comment.

  8. AWESOME! So worth the wait from Friday. What a GREAT story! The next time I have someone tell me they don’t have enough money to pay the tithe (or anything else) I’m going to tell them about his woman blogger I know….

  9. Yes, Mindy, please do! That’s what I’m hoping stories like these will do: encourage the (understandably) fearful that His promises can be trusted. I really need to put more of this kind of post back up for that purpose.
    When I came this close to sitting on a curb, homeless, He kept doing the most amazing things. I had to trust and obey, though, to see them. Thanks for stopping back and offering this encouragement!

    1. Ah, Katharine, God’s at it again! Prayers for your need, whatever it is. Maybe you’ll have a story to tell about this someday, too.

  10. This just thrills my heart. I love stories of how God works. Always on time! My father was the treasurer for our private school. One month he forgot to give the principal his housing allowance. He was mortified. When he apologized the principal and his wife laughed. Daddy had given them a 100.00 “just because” and they were able to use that to pay the bill. I love being on the giving end, too.

    1. Yep, Pamela, me too! The more stories like these I read, the better! Thanks for sharing yours!

    1. And hi back to you, Heart and Soul! Nice to meet you! So glad you stopped by. God bless!

  11. Wow, Thank you for sharing at “Tell me a True Story.”
    I believe the WD40 that oiled the wheels that moved your mountain, was you writing that tithe check. Each time I was so short and decided to “hold back” the tithe, something would happen to steal that same amount or more. Child sick and needed medicine. Can’t not get the medicine, or once the water heater went out. Some would say that was a coincidence, but I will never believe them. Some how when I put God first, every thing went smoother. Not always real smoother, but better. This is a Wonderful example of faith in God’s provision.

  12. What a wonderful story of God’s faithfulness to one who is faithful. As Christians we are calculated risk takers, or so it seems. We have the promises from God that you quoted… and our senses betray us. We stand on the understanding of the physical world’s theories that can’t account for the God of the cosmos who supplies our very breath at this second.

    I’m inspired your post, I’m encouraged… Thank you sister. I’m praying you would be encouraged blessed.

    1. Thank you, Floyd. God’s already answering that prayer. What made it easier for me to be faithful in this was the incredible ways God had helped me before that. He is truly amazing!

  13. WD40! I’ll have to tell my husband that! (He uses it for everything!) I never thought of faith that way, but it is a good picture! You know, Hazel, as I was writing up the post, I was supposing how it would have been if I had held back the tithe, even if the money still came in when it did. I realized I would never have experienced the thrill of God’s timing, and would only have been conscience stricken for not having trusted Him to supply.
    Thanks for your insightful comment.

  14. And thanks for visiting and commenting, “Saleslady.”
    It’s good to “see” you again! God bless!

  15. I could not wait to get to the end of your testemony. Wonderful story of God faithfulness…He has done that to us over and over through the years. The ladies in my first bible study use to joke about my excitement about going to the mail box because God so supplied in some unusual ways. Great faith building post. Blessings

    1. Hi Betty,
      Yes! A kindred spirit! Isn’t it wonderful, the things He does, the ways He provides when we trust Him and look for it? It does make life so exciting. I’m so glad we found each other! Blessings to you, too!

  16. Hi Denise,
    Yes, sometimes it gets very hard to see it, and to hang onto believing, but He is always faithful, and even helps us in our unbelief, when we ask His help. (A *very* oft repeated prayer of mine: “I believe, help Thou my unbelief!”)
    God bless you in some special way today, dear Denise.

  17. I understand, entirely. Have walked through so much of what you described in my past. No food — and then someone dropped off grocery bags on my porch. No clothes — same as food. No utility payment and them coming to turn it off — and a ministry gave ME their tithe that day and I could hand the cash to the man who came to my door.

    And on and on. So many blessings and miracles. AND I know our world can enter those phases of life any time. WE have been trained, taught, blessed… so we can pass those gifts along to others who need to come to that understanding of God’s care.

    I enjoyed this… and probably mostly because I truly understood the details.

  18. Wow, Joanne, yes! Such comments are a blessing to anyone who reads them. He is faithful to all His promises. If only more people could just believe it and trust Him. (And if people like me wouldn’t have to get pushed into such straits to get to that trusting point!) Thank you so much for what you shared here, and God “richly” bless you. 😉

  19. Amazing story, beautifully told! How incredible to see Him work miracles right in front of your eyes! Thank you so very much for sharing this! So inspiring!

  20. This is such an incredible example of a God-incidence. Actually, let’s make that plural. God-incidences.

    He proved Himself again … and again … and again.

    I won’t soon forget how you crumpled up that paper. What a powerful image of TRUSTING in the Lord with all your heart, for He will guide our paths.

    Loved this.

  21. Thank you for sharing. I am trying to live in a budget after losing my job due to being too ill to work. I have worried and do worry about money and what if things stop working, my washing machine is on its last legs, I am in need of a new pair of glasses and so on. Thank you for reminding me to trust and rely on father God to provide I what I need and to not worry.

  22. It IS exciting, Mary. He never ceases to amaze me! (My mouse “died” today — it was on its last scroll; I should have picked up a new one before this! — and I’m trying to write and post this reply, using my finger as my mouse on my laptop… not doing too well. But I think it’s gonna happen!)

  23. Thanks Jennifer, for your comment, and for hosting your blog hop, God-Bumps and God-Incidences. It’s so great to have a blog hop with that theme. I think the God-bumps stories people share do as much to boost people’s faith in Him as anything.

  24. He sure is, Kathleen! Amen! Thanks so much for stopping round and commenting. Blessings to you!

  25. Dear Behind the Smile,
    I am so happy if this story helped encourage you. Part of what got me to the point that I could trust like that, that day, was the testimonies of God’s incredible intervention and provision that I heard from other women. And the passage that changed me from worry-wart to the above was Matthew 6:24-34. May God bless you with new peace and increased confidence in Him, too!

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