74 Cents for a Mustard Seed of Faith : A Story of Tithing

I went to the ATM that morning to withdraw some money for a bagel and coffee, but was horrified to find that I had only $275.74 remaining in the account.  I had just written my rent check out for $275, which left me with 74¢ to pay for my upcoming two weeks of bills and groceries.  My heart raced, but I decided to bring it to the Lord and trust in him.  I had heard stories of his amazing provision for people in the past (the stories of George Muller and Brother Andrew were fresh in my mind).   I decided, in my weak faith, to believe God would do the same for me.

The week or two before this, I had  begun tithing again.  I had not done this for a while because I was in a small amount of debt and figured I should pay that off first.  More recently I had read that God had asked us for our “firstfruits,” not our leftovers, and so I decided to trust him to help me pay off my debt even while tithing to Him.

But now I found myself in this situation.  Since I had started giving God 10% of my income, I had gotten sick and needed to purchase medicine,  my car broke down; and a company kept automatically withdrawing money from my bank account long after they said they had it stopped which was why I now found myself with 74 cents in the bank.  From an earthly perspective, tithing hadn’t gotten me too far!  I prayed that the Lord would somehow provide for me in this, and then went on to work to face a dismal day.  I didn’t know God as the amazing Provider that he is, but I was about to get a glimpse.

I didn’t say anything at work, but my emotions there were clearly visible.  A coworker asked me what was going on, and I didn’t say, but she asked if it was financial and I nodded.  Another coworker took me aside and said “You know God will take care of you, right?” I nodded, attempting to have faith.  I had a long day of talking to God at work.

Later that day, I would be going to a coffee shop to lead a Bible study we had there.  Just my luck, a customer whom we will call Donny stopped in my workplace—he was a long-haired hippie-type man who was a self-proclaimed prophet of some religion, but not of Jesus .  He came in and said he was going to join our Bible study that night.  He stepped out of the shop to smoke a cigarette, and I began to pray, “Lord, I am not able to handle him today.  Either you will need to give me your wisdom in dealing with him, or you will have to make him not come.”  Just after the prayer, he came back into the shop and suddenly changed his mind about coming to the study.  This was my first breakthrough this day.

As I left work, I found a fifty dollar bill under my coffee mug with a note that said, “for you!”  I asked my coworker if she had put it there.  She suddenly began to dig in my purse, and then said, no.  I found that behavior a little strange, but she then told me she had put some money in my purse earlier that day and had wondered if someone had taken it out and put it under the mug.  No one had taken it out—the money she had given me was still in my purse.  I went home overwhelmed with people’s generosity and God’s provision.

As I walked to the Bible study that night, I was still shaken by my financial crisis.  I prayed to God to provide me with someone who would pray for me to have the peace of God before I would have to lead the study.

I walked in and ordered my coffee, shared about God’s provision that day with the barista whom I knew a little, and this man asked if he could pray for me.  I was so blessed God was answering everything almost as soon as I prayed.  I sat down at my table to wait for others to gather, and as I waited, I talked to God to ask him for a longer-term provision so that I would not be in such a place of crisis if I had unplanned expenses again.  A few minutes later, my roommate (who had absolutely no clue of my situation) came in and asked me to pray about if I would want to tutor her brother in reading—her parents were looking for someone to help him, and would pay for the tutoring.  I told her I had already prayed about it, it was an answer to the prayer I had prayed just minutes before.

To top it all off, another friend came into the Bible study and had decided (out of character) to buy a ton of food from McDonald’s to share.  It was the icing on the cake.  God would provide!  He did provide for me throughout the upcoming weeks in very unusual ways through people who had no clue I was in need.  Somehow, I paid all of my bills off, was able to pay back my coworkers who had given me money, and in the long-run to pay off my debt in far less time than I had anticipated even before deciding to tithe.  I do not think I would have seen the Lord’s amazing provision had I not been faithful to show my trust in him by tithing. The Lord is faithful and I am so glad I now know him as my Provider!

First published by Maureen McFarlane (Silveyra) on October 28, 2010 on Awakening My Spirit on WordPress

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