“Lord, we could really use a financial miracle right now. Can you please send us $1000?”
I didn’t think this request was too audacious, considering I’d asked Him for $1000 before, and He supplied it within the week. If anything, with the bills piling up and inching into overdue territory, it seemed like a perfectly reasonable request.
What about $500?
The answer knocked against my chest wall, making it hard for me to breathe.
I placed a hand over my racing heart. “Okay. $500 would be great.”
You’re God; why would I argue with You over money?
I sat back and waited for the $500 I knew was sure to come. And I waited … and waited. And I tried to stifle the disappointment building with each passing day the promised money didn’t materialize.
It hadn’t taken Him this long before.
About a week later, my oldest daughter handed me a picture she’d drawn and said, “Here, Mommy. I made this for you. Can I have more paper? I ran out.”
We didn’t have any paper in the house because she used it all up drawing picture after picture. She’d even used up the backsides, just like I told her to do to conserve what we had.
We were trying to survive on one income. That didn’t leave us much room for buying new paper. How could we justify spending money on that nonessential when it was uncertain where our next meal was coming from — or if we would have to move because we couldn’t pay the rent?
I exhaled, smiled, and looked into her hopeful eyes. “We’ll see what we can do about that.”
I blinked back tears and silently asked God to send us some drawing paper along with the $500.
Some timely help
That same day, I checked my email and found a note from a friend, asking how I was doing and if there was anything I needed. I didn’t want to tell her anything about our financial struggles. I wanted to keep it just between me and God. But I felt that still, small voice inside, urging me to unload everything. I gritted my teeth and pounded out a message telling her all about my earlier conversation with God.
She responded with:
“I think I can give you what God said you should expect.”
My hands collapsed onto the keyboard, and the tears in my eyes blurred the words on the screen.
I thanked her (and God) profusely and made arrangements for my husband to meet with her later in the week to get the money since his work was close to where she lived. The rest of that week, I felt lighter and more hopeful than I had in months. One part of my prayer was being answered.
Everything was going to be okay.
I still didn’t know how we were going to get that paper my little girl wanted so badly, but I wasn’t as stressed out about it as I had been before.
I felt sure God would provide.
I waited eagerly for my husband to get home from work on that appointed meeting day. We were teetering on the edge of having more month left over than money, and I still had a sneaking suspicion that we really could have used $1000 instead of the $500.
But I trusted God knew what He was doing.
When I saw my husband’s car pull into the driveway that evening, I practically ran to the door. He took a little longer than usual to get into the house, and when he came through the door I saw why. He was holding a white plastic bag bulging with the weight of something large and rectangular.
“Is everything okay?” I asked, reaching for the bag with the red logo on it to take some of the load off him. Then I noticed what was in the bag — two reams of copy paper.
“Yeah, everything’s fine.”
An unexpected blessing
“What is this?” I asked, nodding down toward the copy paper. “Where did you get it?”
He rubbed a hand against the back of his neck. “She gave it to me when she gave me the check. She said something told her she needed to stop by Staples and pick up two packs of copy paper to give to us too. She didn’t exactly know why, but she knew she had to do it.”
As I took out the reams of paper and read the labels on the packages, I knew why my friend felt she had to buy us that copy paper, even though I’d never mentioned a word about paper to her. I had kept that part of the conversation between me and God. Each ream contained 500 sheets.
I doubled over with laughter.
My husband raised an eyebrow and stepped closer. “What’s so funny?”
I pointed to the copy paper, now piled up on the floor between us, and took a deep breath to squelch the laughter. “I asked God for $1000. He didn’t give us that, but He did send us 1000 sheets of copy paper! I didn’t know how we were going to get more paper, but God did.”
And He has a sense of humor.
My older daughter walked into the room then. She hugged her father and pointed to the reams of paper on the floor.
“Is that my paper?”
I nodded and smoothed her hair back over her shoulder. “Yes. It’s a gift from a very good friend … and our Heavenly Father. And it’s all yours.”
The smile that lit her face as she hoisted one of the reams up in her arms and waddled off to her room was worth more than any amount of money.
We can’t dictate what miracles of provision are going to come our way, but we can ask for them. And we can rest assured they will come — and they may even include those things we think of as nonessentials because God knows what’s most essential for growing our faith in Him — and He will provide it.