Carole Tilly sat down at the built in desk to shuffle through the stack of bills that lay unopened. A familiar fist twisted in the pit of her stomach; the same one that threatened upheaval of her evening meal every time payday hit. She knew the money was not there to pay the bills even though many of them screamed NOW.
She opened her checkbook and looked at the entries which had a gentle reminder written beside them. OW! She’d penned the letters on the line that registered her tithe to the church and next to an entry to the local food bank. The same letters showed up next to various seeds she’d planted.
…prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing… (Mal. 3:10 KJV)
“I thank you, Lord, for the open windows and the blessings that accompany them,” she said as she bowed her head; one hand on her checkbook, the other on the stack of bills.
She knew the Lord would help her with what lay before her. She didn’t know how it happened but it always did and that alone kept her meal from coming up. Yes, some how, some way she’d get them all paid. She sighed. It was still stressful.
“Why?” she asked, “Why must it always be that the stay of execution comes through at the last possible moment?” God did take care of her. There’d be a discount here, a payment deferment for being a good customer there, a found $10.00 bill…any number of things. One time she’d needed the postage to mail the payments and had found four stamps lying on the ground outside the post office. She’d gone there in faith and been rewarded. Things like that always happened to her, or perhaps, for her. And for that, she was thankful. Still, she failed to see the abundance she believed that scripture promised.
“Why?” she asked again.
“You have not, because you ask not,” another scripture flashed through Carole’s mind. She pushed it aside and turned back to the task before her, praying as she always did.
“Thank you, Lord, for providing for our needs…”
“See!” her mind threw back again. “What do you expect, Carole? Your needs are taken care of. Every time! Ask, Carole. Ask that you may receive and your joy may be full.”
Carole sat quietly for a moment. Her teeth worked at her lower lip as she contemplated the words.
“Ask,” she repeated. She hadn’t asked…because she was afraid. She’d wanted the open windows and she’d gotten them, partially; as much as she’d asked for anyway. Never had there not been room enough to contain I,t because she’d only believed for her needs to be met.
She thought of all she could do with the extra blessings. She smiled as she envisioned “OW!” written beside entry after entry in her checkbook. And she’d write them whenever she saw a need, not having to wait until payday. Very little of Carole’s desire for abundance centered on herself. She’d always dreamed of being used of God to bless others.
Carole looked up, her eyes catching the scriptures on the board above her desk. They all spoke of asking and hope, promises and fulfillment. The answer had been before her all the time.
…seek and ye will find…
And she did. Carole Tilly learned that obedience and belief truly would lay open the windows of heaven. Ow! Praise God for His gentle teaching.
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