The year was 1976. I was living in a nice complex called Stonesthrow Apartments on South Holden Road in Greensboro, North Carolina. My family and I had settled into a nice church and were making friends rapidly. Greensboro was central to my new sales territory with a new company. I hadn’t had much time to build up many customers, and the finances were tight.
A new job always has a period of adjustment. This new job, in commercial and industrial chemical sales, was no different. There was so much to learn about the new products, applications, and presentations. There were also the new customers that had to be developed quickly. And the international chemical manufacturing company, I had just signed on with, had little patience for slow starters. I had to hit the ground running and make it happen fast.
If you have ever been in ‘outside sales’ then you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you don’t generate the sales; they won’t come to you. You are the initiator in everything. An outside sales person has to be a master at time management, territory management, lead generation, handling a myriad of different personalities, and has to keep a fast pace with the sales goal always in focus.
When my sales manager, Jim Wiley, would come up from Charlotte to work with me; he would get into my car and always say the same thing, “OK, where are we going to make a sale today?” The sale was always the target. No sales; no job. But the sales were coming, so I felt semi-secure in my new job, but I had brought my bad financial baggage with me into this new job.
I had been a business partner with a man in another part of the state. The potential for a financially solid future had been there for sure, but his integrity had not been. I had found myself in a real jam with some serious money losses. I was doing good in my new sales job, but I had some pretty big obligations to pay back.
Financial stress is something that we all face at some time or another. Unfortunately we often face too much of it and for a too long of a period of time. If you are hard working, smart, disciplined, consistent, and have a little luck; you can even prosper. But, then again, sometimes life just decides to kick you in the teeth anyway.
But if you are a Christian, and you want to get God’s help; you can have comfort in His many promises about provision and abundance. God is called our Heavenly Father. Now think about that just a minute. He is our ‘Father’ in Heaven. Does your earthly father want the best for you? If you are a parent do you want the best for your child? The answer to both is a resounding ‘yes’! Well, your Heavenly Father is the same except He is unlimited in His resources!
Then why don’t we get the answers to our prayers the way we want them? Faith is the key. You have to really trust Him. I mean really trust Him. We have to trust Him to the point of—no doubt! Can you do that? We all can. Most won’t. Here are two short stories about faith that brought about financial miracles. God is on our side. We just have to humbly trust Him to a point of real, simple, yet powerful faith!
So, here I was coming in from a day out in the field one Monday afternoon. I had been making sales calls up in the nice little sleepy town of Reidsville, N.C. The people were always nice even if they said, “No”. I pulled my car into my regular parking space right in front of my door at 2446-C. I turned the car off, and took a deep breath. Another good day of work, but I was tired, and now I had the part of my day that every salesman hates—the paperwork. The day’s activities had to be organized, reported, and filed. Then tomorrow’s daily plan had to be done, so that I could get an early start the next day. The rule was ‘slow starts—small checks, fast starts—fat checks’.
I had my necessary paperwork in my hands as I made my way toward the door, but I heard something behind me. It sounded like water running. As I turned, my heart sank. There was water running from my car engine; not dripping, running. My first thought was, ‘I hope to God that it is just a hose’. A water hose can be replaced easily and inexpensively, and I can do it which would save the mechanic cost. As I bent down and peered under the engine, I became a little more fearful. The water was steaming hot, and it looked like it was coming from a little further back on the engine than where the radiator and hoses were.
I was hoping that I was wrong as I laid my paperwork on the sidewalk and opened the hood. Nope, there was no water coming from the hoses or radiator, but it was pouring out of the water pump. ‘Tragedy’, ‘catastrophe’, ‘devastation’; all kinds of emotions were going through my whole being, and none of them were positive.
You might be thinking, ‘Well, it’s just a water pump. Get it fixed, already.’ You see, the problem was: it’s Monday, I get paid on Friday, and there was like three dollars in my bank account and less in my pocket. Do you see now? Devastation. And; if I couldn’t go, I couldn’t sell, if I couldn’t sell, I couldn’t get paid, and I would have no job. In other words, this simple little water leak could ruin me. I had no one else left to borrow from. I was sunk!
I didn’t even tell my wife, but as I went through the rest of my day, I was carrying the load of despair from my dilemma. Every scenario I ran through my brain came up with the same conclusion—‘nope; that won’t work’. I was at the end of my rope; no hope, and no solutions.
I had done what I, and too many others, have done way too many times in the past, and that is to call on God as a last resort instead of a first impulse. I guess we get so accustomed to solving problems each day that we forget that, “There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother”. So, I finally went to God…
“God, I don’t have the money to fix that water pump today, but I get paid on Friday. If you will just help me, somehow, until then; I can handle it on Friday. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” The peace that I felt, by leaving it on His shoulders, made me rest and get a good night’s sleep. The next morning my mind started to race through all sorts of possibilities again, and again to no avail.
I decided to crank the car and fill it up with water just to see how fast it would take to run hot again. But to my amazement; there was no leak—not a drop. I almost couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I capped the radiator, and let it run until the engine was hot, and still not a drop of water was leaking out.
I went on with my day’s sales calls. I checked for leaks all day long—still no leak. During my travels I asked several folks, who would know, if a water pump ever sort of repaired itself. Every one of them said an absolute “No”. So I had plenty of reason to be thanking God all week.
Friday rolls around, I got my check, cashed it, and got home at the end of the work week. I got out of my car, and headed toward my door when I heard something behind me. It sounded like water running. I turned around to see the water running from my water pump again. This time I just smiled and said, “Thank you Lord”. I had the money to fix it now.
God cares about everything in our lives, and all He really wants us to do is to really trust Him. He tells us to “Cast all our cares on Him, because He cares for us”.
But that’s not quite the end of the story. My rent was due next Tuesday. It was $430 and I needed about $80 worth of groceries. The family had to eat, and having a home to live in was pretty important also. Again, I didn’t have a clue where the $510 was going to come from.
I spent the weekend praying and seeking the Lord for an answer. None came, but I rested in His assurance of His love and grace. Monday came around, and the call from the landlord said that if I didn’t have the rent in by tomorrow that I would be evicted. I was down to the final deadline, and still I was at a loss as to what to do.
That afternoon I received a call from a dear lady in my church. Miss Francis Talley had been a missionary to China for about thirty years. She was now retired, and was one of the sweetest and most faithful human beings I had ever known. I sat in on her weekly Bible study and was amazed at the depth of her personal knowledge and insight of Jesus. She obviously had an intimate relationship with Him.
She said, “Roger, I have a note for you. Can you stop by my home and pick it up?”
I didn’t have any idea what kind of note she might be referring to, but I said, “Sure; I’ll be right over.”
When I arrived she greeted me with her usual sweet smile, and said, “Wait right here; I’ll be right back.” She returned and handed me an envelope. “God told me to give you this, but you can’t open it until you leave.”
I looked at the envelope, and then I looked at her—wondering. “Now, I’ve got to go. I’ve got something to do, so I’ll see you later.” And she led me to the door.
In my car I opened the envelope. The note read, “God told me to give you this. I hope you will receive it in His love—Francis.” Then there was a second piece of paper; it was a check for exactly $510!
I just sat there in my car with tears of joy, relief, and praise. What a dear, sweet saint; and what a mighty God we both serve.
Note: “Trust the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
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