Like many young couples starting out, money was tight. Our two meager teacher’s salaries covered our bills, but not much else. There wasn’t money for an expensive honeymoon or extravagant house, but we were happy.
A few years later when I resigned my position to stay home with our growing family, finances began to get even more creative. Three little ones born in the span of four years meant what little extra money we had now went for diapers and baby necessities. My husband was still teaching, coaching every sport imaginable and working another part-time job. The dreaded task of managing our household expenses fell to me. Every time I sat down to pay the bills I wondered if there would be enough money in our checking account to cover the ominous stack of envelopes staring me down from the table.
One day an unexpected bill arrived in our mailbox. Had I been a really good money manager I would have known it was coming. But since I had gotten the job of Chief Financial Officer more or less by default, that was not the case. Frankly, my financial management style was similar to the method I used for weighing myself. I took a deep breath, blew all the air out of my lungs and then closed my eyes. When I opened them, I squinted slightly in hopes of seeing a better number. However, no amount of squinting could take away the fact that we didn’t have the money to pay this bill.
Interestingly, my Bible study during this time revolved around the Sermon on the Mount. I had just recently read the words in the sixth chapter of Matthew recording where Jesus told the crowds not to worry because God knew about their needs and would provide for them. I took that to heart and began praying about that big bill for which I didn’t have money to pay. I told Jesus that I trusted him to provide for us in whatever way he saw fit. I decided not to worry, but to trust.
Later in an inspired spurt of organization I decided to clean off my desk. Due to the enormous amount of time it would normally take, it was a job I had been putting off. However, the urge was so strong I decided to tackle it.
Soon I was filing and sorting papers, feeling an immense sense of accomplishment as the desk top began to clear. Just as I was finishing, I noticed a piece of paper sticking out at an odd angle from beside the desk. In all the shuffling it must have fallen and become wedged in the small place between the wall and the desk. When I pulled it out I realized that it was a check. And it was written for an amount that would more than pay the unexpected bill. God knew my need and He had provided more than enough.
It reminded me of the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand. John recorded that the crowds had followed Jesus into the hills because of the signs he had performed. Knowing there was no physical way to feed this hungry throng Jesus displayed his miraculous love by multiplying a boy’s five small barley loaves and two fish. When everyone had eaten and was satisfied the leftovers were collected. Twelve baskets remained. Jesus didn’t provide the bare minimum. There was an abundance. He always provides more than enough.
Many years have passed. Challenges have come and gone, but I have never forgotten that very concrete example of God’s provision in my life. His answers have not always come in the physical sense. I have never found another check tucked away in a nook in the wall. But very often in my spirit He whispers words of comfort and hope. His provision is constant and never-failing and His provision is always more than enough.