We had just moved back to Johannesburg after one incredibly stressful year at the coast in Port Elizabeth. My daughter had been literally born straight into NICU and was there for a month. My business was on a go-slow because I literally lived at the hospital. At the end of it all, we had decided to move back as Port Elizabeth had just become too bittersweet.
But it felt like we were starting all over again. And money was tight.
We’ve all been there – when it comes to tithing, we hold back just a little thinking of the things we need to buy here and there. Even more so when money is just not rolling in!
God just adores obedience. One of my favourite stories on obedience comes from my aunt. She is a teacher and the Principal of the school had told all the teachers that they needed to purchase a specific pair of shoes – I can’t remember what the reason was. It was “one of those months” where she was short and had already paid her tithing into God TV which was quite a chunk. She prayed to God and told Him she was quite worried about obtaining these shoes as it had been quite a hectic month.
One day she was in the shoe store with her friend and they were looking at the shoes and discussing them. She had noticed this one man in the corner kept staring at her. This happened for quite a while and she was getting a little freaked out and eventually he came over to her. Watch how beautiful he put this, wouldn’t you just melt? “Excuse me, I’m sorry for staring and I hope you don’t take offense. But I have to obey my Father. God has told me that I need to buy these pair of shoes for you…”
Does that not just give you goosebumps? What a wonderful man of God and so incredibly gentle. I will never forget that story. God is so colourful, I just love how He orchestrated this scene! Hollywood has nothing on our God!
Anyway, I had just started a new job at a logistics company in the HR department. God definitely got me that job – my boss was fantastic! She was just great to work with and we had so many laughs during our day, it made the day go faster! Any time I apply for a job I ask the Lord to allow me to be successful in interviews only if it was His will for me to work there. I don’t want to be where God does not will for me to be. You never find any blessings in situations like that!
However, I was finding that the salary I had was just covering our bills and 2009 was the most stressful year of my life. I had more month at the end of my money than money at the end of my month!
One day, I had left work and was around the corner from fetching my baby from crèche. Sitting at a traffic light, I noticed a beggar begging for money. You see them at almost every traffic light in South Africa! I thought to myself, “Oh how horrible. I wish I had something to give him.” Notice the word “wish”.
The Holy Spirit grabbed this opportunity and said, “You do have something – you have that twenty Rand in the pocket of your bag!” You know, when I think back to that now I always start laughing! I had seriously forgotten all about that money sitting there! In spite of the word “wish” here started the wrestling match with the Holy Spirit!
“Yikes, R20…I forgot about that Lord…”.
“Give him the R20”.
“But Lord, I can buy bread and milk with that now, or at least put in more petrol…”
“No. Quickly give him the R20 before the traffic light changes!”
I hesitantly, but knowing I had to obey, gave the man my last R20. I did, however, thank the Lord for helping me be obedient.
I forgot all about that money. But God never did.
In the meanwhile I had been panicking how I was going to pay the internet contract and endowment policy I had which both amounted to R500.
The following week, my Manager came up to me with an envelope and said “I don’t actually do this, but I wanted to give you R500 cash, just because it was your first two weeks here and I kind of threw you into the deep end and you have worked so hard!”
Like, what?? Did you see what God just did there? He blessed my obedience of giving the homeless man my last R20 by restoring it back to me! R500 is exactly what I needed to pay those two bills! I was astounded!
Sharp lesson to learn! Even though I wrestled with the Lord about that last R20, I gave cheerfully because I wanted to please Him. God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7)
Challenge – find someone this week to give cheerfully to! I tend to pray and ask God to lead me to someone who will need it. He always answers!