Matthew 6:7-8 "And when you pray, do not go on babbling like pagans, for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (NIV).
Matthew 6 opens with Jesus teaching about giving to the needy and prayer. The verses following 7 and 8 (above) give direction on how to pray, including some of the most often quoted verses in the Bible, commonly referred to as "The Lord's Prayer." The second part of verse 8 came to mind this week at home, and although I do not typically blog about personal matters, this time I couldn't pass up the opportunity to say thanks to God, and share a story of his faithfulness. I never cease to be amazed about how God cares about the little details, and this week it seems that we have seen proof of the verse "for your Father knows what you need before you ask him" vividly. Here's why:
My husband, Chad, has been self-employed in some form or another for most of the time I have known him (over 16 years!) There are some great advantages to self-employment, and a few notable drawbacks; one of which is not always knowing where your next paycheck is coming from. We have been blessed beyond explanation over the years through his career, and in retrospect it is easy to see how God has provided for and directed us. I could write many posts on that topic! Being self-employed can be a roller coaster of great opportunities and great disappointments, and the past 18 months have been no exception for us.
A few weeks ago we became aware of a relatively small need that we could help out with. Chad felt led to help directly by giving a gift, and I agreed. Although we are regular givers, it's rare that we give in this manner. I guess we're traditionalists, and give to the church or other charities directly. This situation was unique, and we felt God had given us the resources and nudge to take care of it.
A few days ago, a letter arrived in the mail addressed to us both. Faithful servants of Christ within our church family felt led to write us a note of encouragement and give us a gift, to be used personally or to be put toward our ministry at MAFMC. The gift was given with no strings attached.... it was to be used freely in whatever way we thought appropriate. It brought a huge smile to my face. Not because of the money, but because of the way it made us feel blessed, loved and appreciated. I know that this family prays for us regularly, and it was just a sweet surprise. At the time, I didn't even think about the fact that the check they wrote slightly exceeded the gift we had just given.
Fast forward to yesterday. We received news of a short term self-employment speed bump we were not expecting. Will we be fine in the long run? Yes! God has us in the palm of his hand, I have no doubt. This month, we may be dipping into some savings. Not uncommon on our roller coaster- that's why we have savings! However, as I was reworking this month's budget, it hit me..... BEFORE I had the chance to be stressed one bit about how to cover the gift we had given earlier in the month, or hit my knees in prayer about it, God had provided (and then some!) through the gift someone had given us. Amazing. "For your Father knows what you need before you ask him", or in our case, even know about the need!
Our church family is kind and shows us their appreciation in many ways, including faithful prayer, occasional gift cards and notes. However, in almost three years of ministry at MAFMC, this is the first time anyone has ever sent us a check! Today I'm praising God for his perfect timing, and for providing for our needs before we even ask!