It was an ordinary day in April 2010 when my boss asked me to meet her in the conference room. I didn’t think anything of it; we’d met there before to discuss projects. Only this time, we weren’t there to discuss a project. “I’m just going to come right out and say it,” she said, “we’re a million dollars in debt and I have to let you go.” I was momentarily stunned, but not surprised. I said I understood and had been expecting something like this. I thanked her for the opportunity to work there, gathered my things, and left. If you’ve ever found yourself in a similar position, I’m sure you know the feeling of the ground shifting beneath your feet. I had no idea how I was going to provide for myself.
I felt lost for several months after that. I had no idea what my purpose was or what kind of job I should be doing. I spent that summer working on various personal projects and trying to stay busy. A few months after I was let go, my apartment lease was up. I suddenly found myself with no job and two weeks to find a place to live. One of my friends suggested I put out a call on Facebook to see if anyone needed a roommate. I did, and thankfully, a Facebook friend had a house with a room she was thinking of renting out. I snapped up the opportunity and moved in. I tried my best to assure her that I would find a job soon and would have a way to pay the rent.
I wasn’t having much luck at first, but I also remembered a promise I had made to God. I told Him that despite my lack of income, I would use whatever money remained to continue giving my offering. I never questioned that decision until I realized I had forgotten to give my offering for a couple weeks. When I calculated what I needed to give, it left me with insufficient funds for my next round of bills. Even if I withheld my offering out of fear, I still wouldn’t be able to make all the payments. I had to decide between honoring the commitment I made to God or submitting to fear so I could at least pay a few bills. At the end of the day, I chose to honor my promise, even though I did so with much trepidation. I wrote out my check and brought it to church with me the next Sunday. Hesitantly, I relinquished my check to the offering plate and watched the money I desperately needed disappear.
I walked out of the service that day and was stopped by a friend of mine. She handed me an envelope and said, “don’t open this until you get home.” I thought, oh no, she and her husband are giving me more money to help me make ends meet. I was reluctant to take it because I knew they didn’t have money to spare. At the same time, they wanted to give it, and I didn’t want to rob them of their act of kindness. I took it and opened it when I got home.
What I found when I opened the envelope stunned me into silence for a good five minutes until I burst into tears. There was enough money there to pay my next round of bills. It wasn’t a gift from one couple alone; it was from several couples. It was one of the most humbling and obvious acts of God I had ever seen in my life. I honored my commitment to Him at the cost of my own well-being, and He kept His promise to never leave or forsake me. He provided exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it. Not only that, a couple of weeks later I was able to land a part-time job. And a couple of weeks after that, landed another. I was still unable to pay all the bills, but my parents were kind enough to help me out for a few months before I landed a full-time gig.
When God is ready to provide, He will, because He knows what I need.
There are elements of that time in my life that I am experiencing again in the present. I resigned from my full-time job almost four months ago for various reasons. I was fortunate enough to have some savings to draw from, but I find myself at a point where that is beginning to dwindle. I’m starting to focus on the numbers in my bank account again rather than trusting in the One who has come through for me before. If the past has taught me anything, it’s that it doesn’t matter what the numbers in the bank account say. When God is ready to provide, He will, because He knows what I need.
I can trust His leading, and trust that the work and money will show up when necessary. Staring at my bank account only tempts me to put my faith in what I can see, when it’s clear that my hope comes from the One I can’t see.
It would be easy to worry and become anxious, but that has never served me well. Instead, I will continue to build the things He is calling me to build in this season. I will trust that, as before, provision will come—perhaps in ways I never expected.