George Muller said that. I love it! The kids & I have been reading through the Trailblazer Book about him – The Bandit of Ashley Downs. (If you’ve never read a Trailblazer Book, they are great – cliffhanger chapters, good storyline, teaches about our Christian heritage in these great men & women of faith.) Anyway, it got me thinking about all the times God has provided in similar ways in my life through the years. This was the original reason for this blog – to document what God has done & is doing in our family.
Last night, Mom needed some company staying with Grandma, so I took a notebook & listened again as Mom told of those times as we were growing up, how God showed Himself to be a faithful provider & mighty God. This week, as time permits (otherwise it will be next week), I’ll be sharing some of those stories.
The first one is from the summer of 1973. Mom & Dad had recently started working with Campus Crusade for Christ & were in Purdue, Indiana for a training type session. We were a family of four (I was three & my big brother was five) & Dad had only been a Christian for about a year. They had sold Mom’s beauty shops (I think she owned two?) & Dad quit the lucrative life insurance job he had & they went full time into the ministry. This was the intense discipleship program God put them in as it turns out.:) They raised support & moved to Iowa to head up a lay ministry something. (I need to ask Mom more about that part of the story!) So, picture this family, living for a summer in the dorms, supported (provided for, but not an over abundance).
Mom stayed home from a session one morning – one of us kids sick or something. Dad came home at noon for lunch & told how Bill Bright had spoken at the session about how some missionaries were in need of funds & asked if anyone wanted to pledge support. Dad (and those of you who knew him wouldn’t be at all surprised at this) put us down for $50 a month. Now, $50 a month is a good chunk of change for today, but 34 years ago, that was a really big leap of faith! Some would call that “irresponsible” or whatever. But to my Dad, as with George Muller & other great men of God, when he knew God laid something on his heart, no matter how foolish it looked, he acted on it. And I love that about him! Because of those acts of faith, I know my God provides & is real. I saw His hand in my family’s life as I grew up at times like this. I have no doubts my God is real & faithful in providing. (Note to Christian parents: If you never take a leap of faith, your kids are robbed the opportunity to see that Hand work in their formative early years – thus the statistics in the Truth Project – churched kids with no real belief in the God of their parents.) He shared this pledged commitment with Mom over lunch.
Right after lunch, they got the mail. In it was a letter from some church in Pennsylvania. It said,
“Dear Don & Carol,
You don’t know us & we don’t know you, but our church has been supporting a Campus Crusade staff family for years. This family has recently left CCC, but we want to continue supporting CCC, so we called for another name & they gave us yours.
This is to inform you that we are transferring our support of $50 a month over to you…”
That’s what my God does. He is actively involved in every aspect of our lives. He LOVES to show Himself like that! He eagerly waits for us to leap out in faith so He can show Himself faithful. When we rely so much on our own finances & “common sense” that we never step out in faith when God wants to show Himself, we really miss out. It wasn’t good financially for George Muller to start an orphanage. It didn’t make common sense for him to put himself out that way. But because of his faithfulness to follow God’s leading, we have the wonderful stories of how over & over again God faithfully provided for over ten thousand orphans – sometimes at the last minute; sometimes in incredible ways.
“To learn strong faith is to endure great trials.
I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings.”
“If the Lord fails me at this time, it will be the first time.”
“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”