The Time God Met Our Needs and Even My Little Girl’s Want
Pennies and dimes — a story of God’s provision
For as long as I can remember my mom kept coins hidden in various places around our home. There were little coin purses, and plastic bags of coins, old and new, tucked away in drawers and closets. She also kept some coins in a mason jar in the refrigerator, because her mother had always told her, “Any thieves that come looking for money won’t be looking for it in the refrigerator”.
I suppose that is how it came to be that I began saving pennies and dimes in a white plastic container that I kept in my refrigerator.
The time was years later, and I was on my own, living as a single parent in an apartment with my young daughter. I had just believed and received Jesus as my Savior and was in a beginning Bible Study.
We were studying God’s Provision and I was given a little card with the Philippians 4:19 verse on it
At the time I really had no idea what that verse meant, but I figured as I studied the Bible more I would find out.
Our instructor told us we should memorize the verse, so I taped it to the front of my refrigerator where I would see it every day.
In further studies, we began to discuss tithing and giving, and I began wondering how I would be able to tithe 10% of my small income when I could barely make ends meet as it was. I told this to my instructor and she said I should pray about it.
Each day I would see that verse on my refrigerator. I memorized it, thought about it, and prayed over it. Finally, I believed I knew what it meant.
I decided I would begin tithing 10% of my weekly income to my church, believing that God would meet my needs because He was my Provider. It was also at that time that I happened to remember my mom’s habit of saving coins and hiding them away. I decided I would start doing that with my pennies and dimes.
I had a little white plastic frosting container that I had used and washed out, and I decided I would keep them in that — in the refrigerator, (just in case someone decided to break in our apartment!)
I told my daughter, who was in her last year of middle school at the time, that I was saving pennies and dimes for a special treat for us, and when the container got full we would celebrate in some way with whatever amount was in it.
As I began tithing, I found I never really missed what I gave away, and the amazing thing I found was that I was never broke!
Previously, there had been many times the money hadn’t stretched from one payday to another, and my dad had given me a few bucks to make it through. But now, somehow, there was always money on hand, not much, but some, and our needs were always met.
Some nights we might have to share the milk and each drink half a glass because that’s all there was or eat macaroni and cheese with eggs and toast for supper, but we never were without. God provided for our needs.
Our wants on the other hand, often fell short, as there just was not any extra money for special things
Yet I kept on putting the dimes and pennies into the little white container in hopes that someday soon we would be able to have a time of celebration.
In the spring of that year, my daughter came home from school with a paper announcing the School Yearbook was to be published for her class, and of course, she wanted one. The price was $8.00. I told her I would see if I could fit it into the budget, thinking maybe I would be able to cut back somewhere to be able to get the money before it came time to submit it. Since we had a month before it was due, I was pretty sure I would be able to come up with that much.
However, as the day grew near for her to return the form I had no extra money on hand. Sadly, I told her we just could not afford the book.
“I thought you said God was supplying for us!” she said. “If He is, why don’t we have enough money? It’s only $8.00!”
I reminded her that God’s promise was to supply all our needs and I didn’t think this Yearbook really qualified as a need.
She, however, felt otherwise and got upset.
Our daily habit had been to pray together holding hands at the door before she left to catch the bus for school
This particular morning, however, she was not inclined to pray. Wavering between anger and tears of sadness, she threw on her jacket, grabbed up her books, and started for the door.
“Wait!” I said. “We have to pray!”
“No!” she replied. “I don’t want to! God doesn’t care!”
“Yes, He does,” I said. “We must pray, now more than ever.”
Reluctantly, she stopped and held out her hands. As I reached to grasp them, I wiped a tear from her cheek.
“God”, I prayed. “Please help us.”
Just then, I remembered the white container of coins in the refrigerator!
“The pennies and dimes I have been saving!” I shouted. “Let’s see how much is in the container!”
My daughter ran to the refrigerator, grabbed the container and dumped it out on the kitchen table. We counted. Exactly $8.00! What a celebration we had!
God had indeed supplied!
Over the years I have never stopped saving pennies and dimes, and often when I found myself worrying about money I would happen to find a penny or dime in my path.
It would always be a penny or dime, rarely any other coin, and many times I would find one or the other in the strangest places
Since there usually was never a reasonable explanation for finding them at a certain time or place, I came to believe that God was dropping them down to me as a reminder of His Provision. So whenever I would find one, I would give Him thanks, ask His forgiveness for worrying, and commit myself to trust in Him to provide for me.
My daughter is now grown, and a mother with four children. She often remembers the time God supplied the $8.00 in pennies and dimes, and she too says she finds pennies and dimes in her path whenever she worries about money.
As for that verse in Philippians, it is still committed to my memory and I still have that little card with its imprint on my refrigerator even though it is brown with age.
I have learned that His word is true and that I can rely on Him to keep His promises, for as I have trusted in Him to provide for me, He has never once failed me.
And if I sometimes forget, He reminds me, by dropping a penny or dime in my path!
— Leona J. Atkinson