Absence makes the heart grow fond.
In our family’s faith journey, God has taught us many a time by the principle of absence, so that He may supply.
Matt 19:29 And everyone that hath forsaken houses or brethren or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold and shall inherit everlasting life.
Part of the 90’s prosperity teaching was that of the hundredfold return.
“Give a hundred dollars to my ministry and God will bless you a hundred fold” many would say. It was God, the heavenly Santa Claus, at the churches’ disposal.
One preacher said that if so much were given to his work God would send a financial angel. I got really worried; “ What if I am short by $1.00, would I miss the financial angel?”
Needless to say, God has rarely dealt with my family in the confines of financial formulas. I have seen Him do it sometimes, but not with us. We can’t put God in a box, however.
When God called us from Miami to New Mexico, and into what I thought would be a mighty ministry, not everything came through this 100 hundred fold return.
I was in broadcasting for twenty-two years before I went into full-time ministry.
When we arrived in New Mexico in the late 90’s, our four children were ages 2, 4, 6, and 8.
I had not secured a job at a TV station.
Our empty little duplex had been outfitted with second hand furniture from neighbors.
Our pastor had donated a futon where Mary slept. The other beds were squeezed with it in the living room.
I had a job making 5.00 per hour at a convenience store in our town of Pena Blanca.
You can imagine how far 5.00 per hour take a family of six!
Someone donated a huge bag of beans from which we made meals. I remember having potatoes.
One morning, the man who supplied the meats and dairy products to the store drove up. I greeted him.
He proceeded to fling into a big pile everything that was past the expiration date. Cheeses, turkey, chicken, hotdogs, milk; Everything was being dumped out!
My eyes bugged in disbelief. I mean, we had eaten rice, beans and potatoes for weeks without end!
I ran at once to the store owner, before he could commit this hideous crime and leave with the expired goods. It was awkward, but I was bold.
I left with two bags full of meats and cheeses
We were so thankful to God for His mighty provision. gratefulness!
Our grandest times of gratitude are when we have little, and watch God move.
Once we did not have money to buy a birthday cake for my son Timmy. Without mentioning anything a neighbor went to Santa Fe and came back with a gorgeous cake. gratefulness!
One winter I got pneumonia. We had no money for doctors or medicines. With a brick of weight on my chest I writhed in pain as I lay on the couch. God told me to worship Him. I was healed. gratefulness!
In the days when McDonald hamburgers were 29 cents, Mary and I with tears in eyes watched joyfully as our kids each ate one, with a dollar that had been given. gratefulness!
Or the time that we prayed in a thirty cent stamp. Gratefulness!