"He provides food for those who fear Him; He remembers His covenant forever."
-Psalm 111: 5 (NIV)
My heart sank as I looked at the number on my screen. Only sixty dollars in my checking account. I had been trying to scrape as many pennies as possible that summer because I did not want to touch the hard earned money in my savings account. But, it looked like that resolve might have to dissolve fairly soon. It had been a rough school year in my personal life, and I had decided to stay for the summer in the little town of Collegedale, Tennessee where I attended Southern Adventist University as a music education major. I had gotten a job at the registrar's office, but I had quickly discovered that I was not meant for office work. Oh, I could fulfill the tasks just fine, but the environment was not for me. Too many people on top of me all day long, and I had to listen to everyone's conversations about everyone and everything. The stress of often staying at night by myself, working in a place I did not particularly enjoy, and not having many friends to socialize with after work had started to eat away at my happiness.
On this particular Friday, I had finished work at midday and suddenly decided that I needed to get away. I filled up at the gas station, threw some things in the car and headed to Kettering, Ohio to visit a friend from school who was interning for the Kettering Health Network...and all with about sixty dollars in my checking account. Even though my car was full, I was running on empty. Of course, I had to fill up again during the nearly six hour trip, so by the time I arrived at my friend's house, I had forty dollars in the checking account. That evening, as we lay in our beds talking and catching up, I shared my plight with her. We discussed the options, and then I remembered that I would be going to visit my grandparents the next day. They usually generously give my brother and me "budget money," so perhaps that would take care of the problem. My friend encouraged me to remember that the Bible says to not worry about our life because God has promised to provide. She shared a story about a time that God had provided in her life and shown up when she really needed help. She was confident that something would work out, so I leaned into her confidence and slept peacefully.
The next day, we did visit my grandparents. In fact, we surprised them because they had no idea that I was coming. We played some music for them and had a lovely visit. But they never mentioned money, so I left having to trust that God had another option up His sleeve. The rest of the weekend was quite enjoyable and refreshing, but in the back of my mind I still wondered if/how God was going to provide. Little did I know what was coming.
Sunday morning rolled around, and I packed my bag to head home. We were eating breakfast when I got a call from my grandmother. She had been meaning to give me some money when I was at their house and had forgotten, so she wanted to know if they could bring it over to my friend's house before I left. Wow! Talk about God coming through at the last minute! I was so excited! After they had left, I peered into the envelope to count...twenty, forty, sixty....I don't remember perfectly, but I'm pretty sure the total amount was one-hundred dollars! I could hardly believe it! This was enough to get me through at least the next two weeks with expenses for gas and groceries, and I would get a paycheck from work at some point during that timeframe as well. I said a joyful goodbye to my friend, and headed down the road to my aunt and uncle's house. I had wanted to stop by and say hi before leaving town. My aunt came out to the driveway to talk to me, and she said that she had something for me. Pretty soon, here came my uncle carrying two big brown bags....full of food! There was cereal, beans, pasta, canned veggie food (much too expensive for my budget), and more! She had me go through the bags and decide what I would want to keep, and then my uncle loaded them into my car. I was astonished! God had literally provided for all of my needs in one trip. He provided my friend to encourage me, He provided money and food, but best of all, He provided an opportunity for me to strengthen my trust muscle and have an amazing story of His goodness to share with others!
What about you, friend? Are your finances tight? Is your heart running on empty? Maybe your trust muscle feels a little weak right now. I pray that you are encouraged by this small story, and that even when you are questioning God's presence, you will lean into the confidence of those around you who have witnessed the goodness of God in their own lives. He will show up for you at just the right time and in just the right way. One of my favorite quotes by the author Ellen G. White says, "Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us, of which we know nothing" (The Ministry of Healing, pp. 480-482). May you be inspired to trust God to supply your bread today and always.
Alissa Tanguay is the host for Carved to Beautify. Currently, she is living in sunny Southern California teaching music to an energetic group of students and exploring the beautiful Californian coasts and mountains that God has created.
(Picture from seriouseats.com)