I’m going to set this post to publish a long time from now, so we will be removed from the situation by then, but this is too awesome not to share.
It began with a pay cut. It wasn’t really a pay cut, it was more of a slap in the face. My husband decided to change his work schedule so he could attend church with the family. His boss promised to give him full-time status if he would leave his schedule alone. He’d been working full time for the company for over two years, just under a “part-time” label. He refused. They said they would cut him back to three to four days a week if he didn’t comply. He wouldn’t – his hours were cut. So technically it amounted to a significant pay cut as far as we were concerned.
It didn’t take long to go through what little savings we had. We were scraping by but some unexpected bills came along.
One day the situation really began to get to me. By this time we had spent most of a week eating mainly lentils, potatoes, and rice. Sometimes I’d give all the food to my family and just not eat. My birthday was a week away and my six-year old son asked for a couple dollars so he could buy me a present. I had to tell him no.
That night after my husband went to work, I sat down and did some figuring. With the money we were expecting in pay for the two weeks left in the month, we would have exactly $5 left over after all the bills were paid. That $5 would have to stretch to cover gas, food, and anything else that might come up for two weeks.
I began to cry. I cried and cried and then I started crying out to God.
“Where are you, God?” I wept. “My husband stands up for you at work and this happens to us. Don’t you care?”
“Remember My servant Job,” said God.
I knew right away what He meant. We’d just finished a study on the book of Job at Community Bible Study. God used Job as an example for Satan. Yet Job was not perfect. He complained that God was treating him unjustly. Yet by the end of the book, Job apologized to God. He came to realize that the ways of God are often beyond our comprehension.
I apologized. “Yes, Lord, I know that you are God and I am not. Help me to wait patiently for your plan.”
After a while I had peace and was able to sleep.
The next morning I got up and walked the six blocks to Community Bible Study, because one of our cars had expired tags and the other had hardly any gas.
Once I arrived, everything began to go wrong. The Internet was not working, so I couldn’t download the pictures I needed for our guest’s talk. The audio out wire for my computer was missing from the sound system. I went to lead the song and it was to a totally different tune than I was used to singing with those words.
“Where are you, God?” I cried.
But the pieces began to fit together. I was able to sight read the music and sing the song, even though I’m not usually that good at sight reading. While I was up leading the music, the Internet came back on just long enough that my email program loaded the pictures. The sound guy came from his office with the missing cable and put it back.
I started to breathe.
I went home and had an uneventful afternoon doing schoolwork with the kids. Then I left for choir practice and work, using up the last of our gas.
While I was at work, my husband texted me, telling me that a family member would be able to send us some money for gas and food. I felt better. Things would still be tight but not as bad as before. Then a friend texted me, asking if she could stop by my house later and drop something off.
When I got home from work, I waited for her to stop by. Since my birthday was only three days away, I figured maybe she had gotten me a little something.
She pulled up in her SUV. “I got a message from God,” she said. She opened up the back. It was full of groceries, and even a toy each for the kids.
“I don’t know why,” she said, “but God told me to get you this. And when He tells me to do something, I listen.”
We carried all the groceries into the house. The kids danced around and hugged their toys. Finally it was just my friend and I out in the cold. We hugged. “You don’t know what an answer to prayer this is,” I said.
She got in her SUV and drove out. I went back into the house and pulled the door closed. My phone dinged.
It was a text from another of my friends. “Would you accept some money from me and my husband as a gift to get your tags?” it read.
I couldn’t say anything. I stood there with one hand on the doorknob as the tears ran down my face. My heart was full. I knew where God was. He was in my family. He was in my friends. But most of all, He was here, with me.