Sunday, April 27, 2008

God's provisions

Okay, I knew there was something else I wanted to blog about tonight. It just came to me!

Just Thursday I was in Rite Aid picking up the weekly freebies and thought about leaving the TheraGesic pain relief rub since I have several tubes of similar product already. (I have to use it for frequent leg aches, but I have enough to last me quite awhile.) I almost left it, but then I thought, "Hey, somebody might need this when they visit. I might as well pick it up!"

Since we pastor and live in the parsonage, we have a lot of visiting missionaries and other speakers that stay overnight. Most of these people are on extremely limited incomes, so I like to send something helpful along with them when I can.

Okay, fast forward to today. After lunch, I overheard a lady recommend pain relief rub to a man who suffers from terrible leg cramps. She was telling him where to find it in any drug store section. I ran to the closet where I keep my stash of products to give away. Sure enough, that's exactly what she was talking about. So I was able to help him out (and hopefully get him some relief so he can sleep at night).

That got me to thinking about how God provides for us.

You remember the Scotch tape runner I mentioned in my shopping post this week? Well, I was just in Michaels the day before bemoaning the fact that they quit carrying my favorite tape runner so I couldn't use my 40%-off coupon on it anymore. Was it coincidence that I "happened" to find the tape runner on clearance at Staples the very next day - with a savings of 90% off what I paid for the other tape runner? I don't think so!

And here's another one for you ... Just today my husband mentioned that we really should get a grill sometime since we have people over so much. Sometimes it would be nice to just grill out, and when you're feeding 23 people, a medium-sized George Foreman grill takes awhile. We've talked about this before and decided to wait until they go on clearance at the end of the season, but last year wasn't a good time for us to buy, due to other financial commitments when they were clearanced. And we haven't gotten even close to "clearance season" on them yet this year.

Get this ... As one of our workers was preparing to leave today, his wife called on his cell phone and asked him to stop by Sears to help her pick out their new grill. He mentioned it to my husband after he got off the phone. Well, we have seen their old grill and thought it was pretty nice. So my husband asked what was wrong with the old one, mostly to make conversation. It turns out it's a relatively minor problem, but they were wanting to "upgrade" anyway. (You know where this is going don't you?) He offered to just give us their old gas grill!

Why am I writing this? It's certainly not to imply that we are God's pets and He is our glorified "fairy godmother," as some people think of God. No, I'd serve Him if I never received any free gas grill! I'm writing this to tell you that God provides for our needs - and many of our wants - when our money is surrendered to Him.

You see, when my husband and I made out our budget, there was no question that 10% of the gross income goes directly to tithe. And since we live in the parsonage, we don't have rent or a house payment. We have decided to tithe the value of our housing, as well. (It is a benefit of my husband's employment, one that we would otherwise have to pay ourselves.) Added to that, my husband has felt led to add a percentage on top as extra offering.

As a result, our weekly tithe and offering check is actually 20% of our take-home pay. You better believe that it's not always easy to write that check every week, knowing the other financial commitments we have. But we have always taken it out first. There is never any question about whether we're going to tithe this week or not.

But I also want you to know that we have never, ever gone without. My family eats the best of any family I know, all on $120 a month. My family is as well-dressed as the most wealthy person in our congregation, all on thrift store and yard sale finds. My children have the nicest and widest selection of toys of any child I know of, thanks to incredible thrift stores. (Remember the art desk for $0.80? And I don't think I've ever mentioned the $0.80 full-featured Baby Alive doll!)

Why is this? Is it because I'm such a great shopper? No, it's because God has provided for our needs - and many of our wants. Not only that, but He is always on time. Remember our Easter outfits? How about the bread machine?

So I want you to know that no matter how bleak your outlook is, realize that you can trust God! I am not a trusting person by nature, but you can well imagine that by now I have no problem trusting God for anything. He has proven Himself over and over and over again in our 5-1/2 years of marriage!

[Whew! That was long - good thing I'm not the preacher in this family!]


Survivalwoman said...

When I was younger I ran on hard times , I had no home , no where to go , and through gods provision someone gave me a tent , someone else let me stay on a peice of land and somneone else gave me a small grill and someone else gave me some beads , and i may have lived in a tent in the woods for a while , but the beads made jewelry and the jewelry sold , and that money became the start of a buissness that bought me my new life.
pure faith.
because i belived god would provide and he did , ever astounding but i never question it anymore , i know god both provides for me and mine and finds ways to provide through me.

that is what real faith is.