Cindy at http://ioweitalltohim.blogspot.com/ asked us to share about how someone helped me when I least expected it. There will be a link up at her blog this Friday-Sunday.
This is a story that took place early on in our marriage.[I love how God does things in our lives to teach us principles that impact us for the rest of our days!]
We had recently moved from CT to Oklahoma and we were basically broke financially. We had one child, who had not turned one and another on the way.
We believed that the minimum God required of us as for financially supporting our church was the ten percent tithe. One week we just did not have the money. We really desired to give him the ten percent, not out of legalism, but just because we loved Him and wanted to do this. As we looked at what we owned, we realized that we had our high school class rings that were worth some money for the gold with which they were made. These rings were rings we did not wear, and really did not need. So we pawned them and recieved 90 dollars which would cover the tithe (I can't remember if this was for one week or two?).
On Sunday we gave the money to the church. Later in the week, it may have been Monday, we recieved the exact 90 dollars in the mail from my brother who lived in Texas. He had written a note saying that God had really layed it on his heart to give us this money and this amount. He said it was such a conviction by the Holy Spirit he had to do it. This had never occured with my brother and us and never has occurred again in our relationship (over 30 years ago, now!). My brother knew nothing of our struggles or our needs.
God was using this to teach both my brother and ourselves that He will provide our needs even when we are broke and that when we give to Him he will do as Malachi says--in 3: 10 and following: "Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And therby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. ...."
I want to testify that God has always done this. He has enabled us to be debt free--we owe no money on our home or cars. Our three children graduated from college debt free, including my daughter who received her doctorate. This was not due to our salary, but to God giving money from different sources. He is amazing. He is faithful. He even provided socks for me at one point when I just could not afford to buy them, but that is another story.
I am so thankful for the way that God provides. He has often provided above what we ever expected. We have gone through times of real need, with no job....but even then God provided a shelter, food, clothes, and family. He constantly amazes me.