I remember sitting on the pew thinking…ok God, I want to be able to give. I am tired of not being able to give to your house. And I want to be able to give BIG! LIKE for real, I want to give big!. You said to test your word so I am. So, if you will give me a large amount to give, I will be faithful. If you will trust me, I will follow through and give. Now why did I pray that? Well, because well I wanted to give! lol
Our church was building a new building and we were barely making the monthly bills. Jimmie and I both knew that giving anything above and beyond what little we were giving was impossible at this time. I so wanted to but Jimmie was hesitant because he could not see how. Thus was birthed the prayer above. I told Jimmie about my prayer and he made the comment that he would give if he could, but he can’t see things changing anytime soon. As the time went on things seemed to be getting worse, not better. Jimmie’s job was being reevaluated and shifting. He is our primary income, if his job goes aways so does our livelihood. Shell owned his company and was in negotiations with a smaller company to sell this division. This required everyone to reapply for their jobs and cutting back of unnecessary positions. Several people had lost their jobs, some that had been there as long as Jimmie. He became very nervous and anxious after that. Fearful that he was next. Jimmie was the least educated (on paper) in his department, had already topped out to the highest he could go on his pay scale, and his job positions and title was blurry to say the least. He was disposable in his eyes.
This process went on for about 3 months, and my prayers stayed the same. Correction, that prayer stayed the same but I added peace for Jimmie during this time. My prayer was to be able to give to the church, not to save his job. My focus was on how we could contribute not take in. See what I knew was that my God was our provider, not Jimmie. So whether this job stayed or not God would provide…and I still wanted to give! Well, at the end if the year it happened…Jimmie was fired from Shell.
However Jimmie lose this job was immediately followed by his rehiring to the company that Shell has sold them to. Upon this my prayers were answered. Shell has a policy that if you are fired at no fault of your own(which this was the case) that they are required to give you a severance. It was a certain amount of pay for every year of service(tell me it doesn’t pay to serve and be faithful!). Well Jimmie had worked there for over 15 years. Upon that, the new company hired him giving him a raise and allowing all his time of service with Shell to roll over with them.. This had us walking away with a severance and bonus package that allowed us to joyfully be able to give almost 10k to the church. I don’t know about you, but that was BIG giving to me!
So why do I tell you this? FAITH. My faith was in that I wanted to give to His kingdom financially. He said test it, so I did. No had I don’t this before? Well sure but it was always for selfish gain. This time it was for His kingdom gain. Was I blessed during that? Sure, but my blessing was not the reason for the prayer…His kingdom was. When the circumstances began looking worse, my focus remained on His kingdom, not on the what perceived to be getting worse. My faith was built ON HIM and in HIS word, so I knew He would follow through. FAITH…The substance of things hoped for(in this case money so that I could give), the evidence of things not seen(God working in the background to make my giving possible). You see it was unknown to us the full possibilities of what would happen or where it could come from. As a matter of fact that was that was the most unlikely place. OH but God knew how to work it, and He did. So when your faith is set and firm on thing to happen FOR HIS kingdom and glory and not your own selfish wants, needs, or desires. He will always show up. Maybe not in the way you thought He would, but He will. The good things take time.