As a part-time secretary at my church, a full time undergraduate student and a single mom, I wouldn’t categorize myself as a financially stable person. There are weeks when I find tremendous joy in what I am learning at school, how I am able to serve at the church and the way I’m allowed to witness my son, Liam, as he forms new words and ideas in his three-year-old mind. During these weeks, I sleep well, make homemade muffins for us to snack on all week, and I find that my energy is endless.
Then come the weeks when I’m attacked with worry. I stay up late at night working on homework or cleaning the apartment. No matter how many times I balance my budget there are weeks when I must wait until the next paycheck comes before I can restock the refrigerator. Then I battle with the fear of being a failure as my son’s sole provider and start to lose my grip on the certainty of God’s provision for us.
The past week was one of those bad weeks. I had to ask my landlord to hold my rent check for another week while I waited for my financial aid to arrive. It was time to register for spring classes, but due to an outstanding balance on my tuition from the current semester, I was placed on financial probation and not allowed to register.
Also, my son needed warmer clothes. I’ve been waiting to turn on the heat until it’s absolutely necessary, but he had no warm pajamas, and I was layering t-shirts from the summer under last year’s coat.
Things looked really bad.
When I became a single mother, my own mother reminded me of Psalm 68:5. She instructed me to hide it away in my heart as a reminder that God is the father to my fatherless son. This past weekend, I remembered my mother’s instruction. Between tears and fears, I prayed almost endlessly for God’s provision, but also for my faith in Him to be strengthened as I began to despair.
On my way to class on Friday I drove by the consignment shop where I had taken my son’s used clothes and toys which he’d grown outgrown. I decided to stop and see if any of it had sold. To my amazement, there was enough money on my account to purchase three pairs of warm pajamas, three turtleneck shirts, two sweaters and a pair of winter boots for him. I was ecstatic. Liam and I sat on the floor last night looking through the bag of new clothes (to him, anyway), and I thanked God for his goodness.
Monday evening my father called. He said he knew I was stressed, and he wanted to know what was going on. I told him about my financial difficulties. He offered to take care of my balance at the university and also offered to pay a month of my rent to place my finances ahead and relieve some of my worries. Tuesday morning, he met me at school and gave me a pep talk as he accompanied me to the cash office to pay my tuition.
When I left work on Tuesday evening, I pulled into a gas station with an empty gas tank and an uneasy feeling about spending enough money to fill the tank. Before I was even out of my vehicle, a man from my church spotted me and ran over to my car. By the time I had my purse in my hand and was around my car, he had inserted his credit card into the machine and had begun to fill my car with gas while he waited for his own truck to fill.
Although he knows me well, I had not shared my financial stresses with him or even anyone in my small group at church. I knew he couldn’t know how much his good deed had helped me! I asked him why he did it, and I tried not to cry. He said he just felt like helping me when he saw me.
The Lord not only reminds me of His faithfulness, He blinds me with it. No matter how my faith grip slips, He has a non-slip grip on my welfare. Like the birds of the air, who do not sow or reap, and the grass of the field, which do not labor or spin (Matt 6:26-28), I must learn to accept and rely on my Heavenly Father to provide. For He is so much greater than I—He can put into the minds of others to help me before I can even ask!
We must remember in times like this week I’ve had to continue to seek first His kingdom and righteousness because our Heavenly Father counts our needs before they arrive.