Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 17:1-20:13
So I’ve been debating over the last week (almost) if I should tell this story or not, but after what I just saw on TV, I now know that I have to.
For as long as I can remember we’ve never had enough money. When I was a child our family lived out in the country with an orchard and a garden to feed us in the summer and my mom “canned everything that didn’t move”, as my dad would say, so that in the winter-time we would always have fruits and vegetables to eat. I remember walking down the old creaky stairs to that cool and musty basement and my eyes would fall on the rainbow of dusty glass jars filled with produce saved back from the summer before. Later in my life, at the beginning of my middle school years, our family moved from one border of Indiana to the other because my dad had gotten a tremendous promotion at work, one that required a move. After the move it seemed like our family had more money, but the words “we don’t have enough money for that” were still uttered on a frequent basis in our house. I remember my friends in high school telling me that I should tell my mom to buy me Guess jeans because they were better. But by then my mom had taught me the beauty of being thrifty. Why would I spend all my money on ONE pair of jeans that have a specific name on them, when I could spend that same amount of money and get an entire outfit!!! It seemed like a no brainer to me. Then I got married to the man of my dreams, we both married for love not for money. Come this Sunday we will have been married for twelve years (Hallelujah! Thanks be to God alone for that miracle!), none of them with a considerable amount of wealth in the eyes of most people; especially our own.
For as far back as I can remember there has never been “enough” money in the account to do this special activity or buy that particular thing that I wanted. I’ve come to a point, many times, where I have said “I HATE money!” And honestly I often times do. It has seemed like money is what really rules the world. But what I’ve found out recently is that while it doesn’t rule THE world, it has ruled MY world from the very beginning. Money is an idol in my eyes, it has distracted me from those all loving eyes of my savior who provides for me.. and I say thank You Lord… I want MORE though. But I came to a breaking point this last week. You see for the last three years I’ve been writing and receiving visions of a successful ministry and getting excited about the potential that it would bring. The potential steady dependable income it might bring. It started with the vision of grandeur of being a best-selling author; that would provide enough money to live on comfortably right!?! I had to give that dream to God. Then He called me to start using and sharing my photography to make cards for people… HEY! A successful card company, THAT would provide plenty of money for us! But then God gave our family this dream of going to Demolition Derbies to pass out Bibles, of course we’ll make sure to put a donation box on the table and God will make sure that it will fill up. It’s Bibles, people love to support those who pass out free Bibles… right?
So last week an opportunity opened up for us to attend the largest Demolition Derby in the country. I sent out letters and texts asking people for prayers and money to get us there. We had figured out that if we used the Knochel family RV, “Rover”, we could take the food we already had in the house and I could cook so it would require no extra funds for food or lodging. But we only had nine Bibles on hand to pass out, and I was afraid of being stingy with them and wanted more before we left. So the first donation we received, $100, went towards buying more Bibles. This is not a move that I regret at all by the way, this was a total investment in our ministry and our life and it was completely worth it. The second donation we received was another $100, which by our calculations would be enough to pay for the gas to get us there, but not enough to get us back. It was beginning to look like we weren’t going to be able to go after all. Except in our spirits we knew that God DID want us to go. We were set to leave home on Thursday night after my husband got home from work. Thursday at about noon our next door neighbor (who is very sick and could use a lot of prayer) commented on my Facebook status asking where we were going. I told her that we were headed to Pecatonica IL, but things were looking a bit grim and we might not get to go after all. I had just checked our bank account and there was only $140 left in it, we had planned on using our $160 tithe to pay for some of the gas and hadn’t taken it out of the bank yet! I called my husband and asked him if he wanted me to pull out that last hundred to make sure that we had the money we needed for the trip. Me and my strong will were determined to go. Luckily so was my husband. He said to go get it out so I jumped in the car and headed the mile or so to the bank. As I pulled out of the driveway the tears began streaming noiselessly down my face as I prayed. “Lord, I know You will provide. You always have. And I’ve known for months now that at some point You would call us to be somewhere far from here, without the money to get home or anywhere else. I just didn’t think it would be on our FIRST trip out!!! But You know what else I know Lord? I know that someone will get saved this weekend if we go. In my heart I just know it. You taught me the other day through Your word that people are more important than money. And You’ve also taught me that while we can’t take money to heaven with us (there it’s worthless enough to use as paving material for the streets) but we CAN take people with us and people are priceless. So Lord, if I have to spend every penny we ever earn in order to save just that one person I’m willing to do it! I want to do this no matter the cost.” I no more than finished uttering that very vulnerable prayer when my phone rang, it was a friend I rarely get phone calls from. She too is building a budding ministry and the two of us are in the same boat often. Talking to her is always uplifting because although we are many states apart God seems to always be doing the same things in our lives and it’s absolutely fascinating when we share what He is doing. Before I had left the house I had sent out a frantic mass text asking people for prayers for the funds to get there and back. She called instead of sending a text back, and I’m so glad that she did!
I ended up pulling over and sitting in the bank parking lot to talk to her and let her know what was going on. She prayed with me and by the end of the prayer time she and I both KNEW that God wanted my husband and I to go hand out Bibles at this event. I knew deep in my Spirit that God was calling me to take a leap of faith and TRUST HIM to provide for our way home. I pulled the money out of the bank, headed home and as I stepped into the house my phone rang again. This time it was my husband, “did you post something on Facebook about not having enough money to go this weekend?” “Well, sort of. I told our neighbor that things were looking grim. Why?” “Because one of my derby buddies just called me and told me that he read on Facebook that we might not get to go and if we had enough money to get there he would give us $100!” It wasn’t enough to get us ALL the way home, but it would get us close!!! We were still on! What God orders God pays for!!!