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|The multiplier effect of faith
It was January 1986. The winter had been brutal already and it was just getting started. We had no money at all. My husband Bill had lost his job earlier the year before. He'd exhausted all of his unemployment benefits. He couldn't find steady work anywhere.
Things were looking pretty bad for us. We'd checked the furniture for change and found none. We did not have one cent to our name. God had always taken good care of us. We were depending on Him to come through now.
All his life Bill had been an avid hunter. Often had it not been for him hunting and selling the fur from hunting, we'd gone without. Bill only had one piece of fur left in the freezer to sell.
Bill took it from the freezer, let it dry out, and brushed it. We needed to get as much money as possible from it. My brother was coming the next day to take me to the doctor. Since we passed the fur buyer on our way, Bill knew Mark would take the fur and sell it for us.
I could see disappointed in his face as Mark handed me the check. He was so disappointed because the fur only brought us five dollars. I said to him, "It's more than what we had."
When I got home, God and I had a talk about that five-dollar check. I asked God, "What on earth am I supposed to do with five dollars? We need food, the rent needs to be paid and the utilities aren't paid, either. What on earth is five dollars going to take care of? What am I supposed to do with it?"
God said, "Give it to Me."
I knew it would take the greatness of God to supply our need. I knew I had to take the step of faith needed and trust God with it. I began to get excited! I wanted to phone our pastor and ask him to start a church service right then. I wanted to get our five dollars in the offering plate as soon as possible.
Sunday morning finally came. I couldn't get dressed for church fast enough, I was so excited about putting our money in the offering plate. I was so anxious to see what God was going to do with it.
Before I even got into the building God began His work. One of the men of the church came to me near the front door and asked if we could use some dog food for our dogs. His dog had run away and had been gone over a week. He was sure the dog wasn't coming back and he said we could have the dog food if we needed it. I gave him a hug and thanked him. Into the church I went, determined to get a seat before services could start.
Finally the offering was taken. I remember sitting there praying, "Father, magnify Yourself. Take this little bit and magnify Yourself and not just to me and my family, but to many, many others. This is all we have and I'm trusting You with it."
After services were over, a dear sister in Christ hugged me and stuck something in my pocket. She said she thought maybe we could use it. I thanked her and hugged her tight even though I didn't know what she'd given me.
When I got to the car and checked my pocket, there was twenty dollars. God had multiplied my five dollars four times already!
The very same afternoon, my folks came to visit. I had never let Dad or Mom know how much of a struggle we had. I didn't want to worry them. They didn't know we had no money and little food. No doubt in my mind God sent them, because when the weather is bad, my folks don't go anywhere.
But here they were with bags of food. God sent us more food than we'd seen in a long time. God gave us Miracle Whip, three loaves of Wonder Bread. There was Eckrich bologna.
I share those three specific things because I want you to see that when God supplies, He gives you quality. It wasn't generic mayo, bologna, or bread. God sent us name brands! With words like "miracle" and "wonder"!
A few days later the bank statement came in the mail. I'd made a fifteen-dollar mistake in our favor. That was a miracle! Usually if a mistake was made, it wasn't in our favor. We had fifteen dollars we didn't know we had, but God knew.
Things began to get better for us. As each day passed God supplied and took care of us from His resources. I'd trusted Him with our last five dollars. From that small step of faith, God continued to give.
Some time later, Bill and I were sitting in church and a brother in Christ walked up to me and stuck a piece of paper in my hand. He said, "I want you to take care of this for me." I said, "Okay," and he just walked away. The piece of paper was a check for five hundred dollars. My mind immediately went back to the five dollars I'd trusted to God. We serve an awesome God!
At first it was dog food, twenty dollars, groceries, and extra money in our checking account. Then came fifty from a complete stranger, then five hundred, then four hundred, and on and on.
Just four years ago in 2001 -- fifteen years later -- God sent us through the mail the $6,000 we needed to purchase the house we now live in. Previously, I had asked one other person I trusted to pray with me about the money we needed for this house. No one else knew of our prayer.
The money did not come from her, but from another sister who was dying from cancer. In the note she wrote, "God told me you needed help buying your house. I want you to take this and use it. After all, it's all His anyway!"
I trusted Him with our last five dollars. And He continues to give!
"And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury. And many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them, "Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast more in than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living." -Mark 12:41-44 (KJV)
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