“What is it?” Julie asked with a puzzled expression. “It’s two hundred dollars,” Brett said in wonder. It was an unusual thing for this young couple in ministry to hold that much cash at one time. “It came in the mail with no return address, just a handwritten note that says, ‘for someone in need.’” The generous gesture thrilled the Carters. In their urban ministry, they knew many people who could use a hand.
Brett and Julie were happy serving the Lord and his people and worked full-time outside jobs in order to give to the church, pay bills and school loans and buy groceries for their family. The Carters also volunteered at a local food bank to help others and came away each time with a bag of groceries for themselves, too. It was a “win-win.” Even so, there were times they didn’t know how they would survive for the week. Once, they discovered a box of groceries at their front door at just the right time, and they thanked God for his faithfulness.
The Carters never thought to keep the $200 for themselves. It did not occur to them that they, themselves, might be needy. “I think we should give it to pastor Jim,” Brett said. “We had breakfast the other day. I learned that his daughter is in difficulty and needs special medical treatment beyond what they can possibly afford.” Julie agreed.
“We believed God would provide a way…and HE DID!”
As they prayed, the Lord brought to mind the story of king David, who in obedience to God, went to build an altar on the threshing floor belonging to Araunah the Jebusite. Araunah was honored, and offered to give David the floor, to which David responded, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24 NIV).
Together, the Carters decided to add to the gift before mailing it to pastor Jim. A few days later, an exuberant pastor Jim phoned; Brett smiled as he shared the whole story. “You’ll never believe this,” pastor Jim exclaimed. “The money arrived in the mail the very morning my daughter was scheduled for her doctor’s appointment. We had no money, but we kept the appointment in faith. We believed God would provide a way, and thank God, HE DID!”
When we give, we participate in God’s miracles. When we give, we become less like the first Adam (whose sin was in taking) and more like the second Adam, Jesus Christ, “the son of God, who loved [us] and gave himself for [us]” (Galatians 2:20 NIV). “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).
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Thank you for your support and prayers!
Rev. Tim McPherson
Dean for Advancement