God IS faithful

 My wife and I have been struggling lately financially. In the midst of it, God has been saying to us, "Well, you don't tithe faithfully. How can I bless what you don't give?" So, we've committed that we will give as God directs (not according to what's left over.) And we've been amazingly blessed. 2 weeks ago, we found out that we qualify for heating assistance. With what was provided there, we probably won't have to pay for heat this winter. We came home from church last week to a Christmas tree and some bags of food on our patio. And I was saying to Kelli that God is really blessing us with all these things. "It's not always a miraculous check in the mail that you can't explain. God provides in amazing ways." And I really believe that. But yesterday was ridiculous. We were getting ready to go shopping. We looked ahead at our bills, etc to see what the budget would be (we need an official budget to be formulated while I'm on vacation). We included our tithe, which was painful, but pretty safe. So, as Kelli is putting the numbers into Quicken, I said put in $xxx, which was more than I had said the first time. She kinda looked funny at me and I said, please put it in. She did.
So, we go shopping, and the membership we thought we had to renew wasn't expired, saving us some money. Plus, we didn't spend near as much as I figured we would. I thought, "See, God's blessing us." I had nooo idea what was coming. Kelli was reading a bed-time story to the kids and I went to get the mail. In the mail was an envelope with no return address. Looked like a Christmas card at first glance. Inside the envelope was a short note and a check for $xxx, the exact amount God told me to tell Kelli to put in for the tithe! I just laughed. I didn't know what else to do...except pray and thank God. I gave the letter and check to Kelli to look at, without saying anything...she was equally stunned.
I don't know how God does these things. I've also never been one to test Him on it. I'm a chicken and I am somewhat controlling.

I know this post seems obsessed with money. Don't be distracted. It's about God's faithfulness and His amazing love for His children. I'm not boo-hooing my financial situation. It is what it is and some of it is my fault. But more than that, I think God knows that this is where some of His kids need to be in order to be reliant on Him. In much the same way He didn't heal the apostle Paul. He told Paul, "My grace is sufficient for thee."

I've heard it said many times that the wallet is often the last thing a person surrenders to God. And that a person's faith can be measured by their checkbook. In many ways, that is really true. My family is holding on to God because all of our efforts to make things work have failed. We really need Him and that's where He wants us, and it's becoming the place I want to be. I believe He may keep us here until the lesson is well and truly learned.

Please learn from us and take special note of Solomon in Ecclesiastes. He had everything and it was worthless to him because God wasn't in it.


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