“Truly, it is worth being poor and greatly tried in faith for the sake of having such precious, daily proof of the loving interest which our kind Father takes in everything that concerns us.” George Muller Autobiography
I have known this place. For several decades of my life, it was abundantly clear that everything I had was a supernatural provision from the Lord. Great miracles require a great need. Great poverty allows for the work of the Lord to shine through clearly. Believers in positions of financial security should remember that they, too, are abundantly provided for by the Lord. We all are given what we have so we can serve the Lord and glorify him with it.
I no longer live in the poverty I lived In as a child and young adult, but I can clearly remember the faith that was built in my heart when God provided over and over through the generosity of others who listened to the voice of the Lord and gave money when we needed it the most.
When we were first married and stepped out in faith to start Emmaus Church, I also decided to step out in faith and stay home with my children. It would mean less money and not being able to buy a home, but we felt that what we could give our children spiritually and emotionally with this decision was worth it.
One day, before online banking existed, we received a letter from the bank that through a miscalculation in our checkbook ledger, we had overdrawn our account by pennies. However, by the time they informed us in the mailed letter, we were $257 in the red, due to bank fees. It might as well have been $25,700. There was no way we could get that amount of money to the bank in those days.
I cried and cried. We didn’t tell anyone but the Lord. I spent time talking to God about what he had asked us to do. He wanted us to move to a new city where we didn’t know anyone, make sacrifices and yet here we were in this situation. I remember being brutally honest with the Lord in my prayer time.
The next day was Sunday. I felt a calmness come over me as I sat through the worship. I knew the Lord was sovereign and in control.
My husband played at two churches on Sundays. He first played piano for a small country church with about 20 people before he came to lead worship at Emmaus. I brought the children straight to Emmaus. (Our oldest son was a newborn, so two church services would have been a little tough to navigate.) After he led worship for the second service, he came and sat with us in the row.
Leaning over he said, “At Living Water today someone spoke up and said, ‘Let’s take up an offering for Caleb and Briana.’”
“Did you tell anyone?” I asked.
“No! Did you?”
“No. Not even my parents. How much was the offering?”
And that my friends, is how our Father in heaven takes care of our needs. I will never forget that figure of $257.
One time I told an atheist this story and he told me I was lying. He said there is no way it could have happened. Then he decided someone from the bank must have known and done it. I will tell you, we were new to the area. No one from the bank knew us personally and definitely they did not attend the little country church of elderly attendees. It’s easier to dismiss the facts that do not agree with your worldview than to believe the truth of the reality of God.
God will provide for our needs according to his riches in glory. When we are weak he is strong. When we are lonely he is a friend.
When we are poor, he is a generous benefactor.