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!
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.