The wife of a married couple that I have known for several years now, recently shared her experience of finances and walking with the Lord. They have really tried hard to seek counsel, reduce debt, and follow a budget for quite some time, and with these efforts and the help of friends and the Lord they are doing very well:
In 2008 my husband’s company required him to transfer to another state to keep his job. Besides the fact that we couldn’t sell our house, we felt that God was telling us to quit, that we were done with this company. So we quit, with 2 kids and no savings. Our families thought we were crazy, but it was what we believed God was calling us to do. We were unemployed for 9 months, and then under-employed for another nine. But for the first 9 months, we never missed a house payment or any other bill; God always provided. We learned to really trust Him as our provider. We would receive anonymous checks in the mail for hundreds of dollars. It even got to the point where we almost expected one to be there when we needed it.
Our small group community came around us, giving us gift cards so we could get our kids Christmas presents, buying them clothes, and even bringing us meals when we didn’t have enough money for food. We learned humility as never before. We tried so many ways to provide for ourselves during that time, but over and over, God said to let Him provide and He did. In a culture where it is enforced to be independent, to not need anyone, we learned that we couldn’t live without the body of Christ. God has taught us to be faithful as He is faithful, and generous as He is generous. Nothing sways us anymore. Whatever comes our way we know God is in control. Even when we had moved out of our house because we thought we were losing it, He had a plan to bring us back, and we waited patiently until we realized that was His intention. 🙂
One last note–shortly after losing our job, Rich Nathan gave a sermon that was talking about tithing, and saying how you should tithe even off of gifts, not just income. We had always been good about tithing off income, but had never thought about gifts. And I didn’t know it then, but we were entering into a season where we were living off of gifts. So when we heard that sermon we decided we should tithe off of gifts. It was hard sometimes, because people would give us gift cards, and we’d want to tithe off of them, but had to use cash to do that. I don’t know how many times I wrote tithe checks that would clear out our bank account when we had bills due and didn’t know where the next bowl of cereal would come from. But the bills got paid, we all got fed, and our tithe for those months stayed the same as it had when we were employed.
You definitely can’t out-give God! While it was a very hard time, we wouldn’t trade it for the world. In this process, we learned what it was like to be poor, to need people to survive, and how to lean on our church and God. The lessons we learned about God and the relationship we found with Him are priceless. And to top it all off, when my husband was finally restored to full time work, his salary was the same as it had been for the job he originally gave up!