Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Week(s) (02/10/11)
TITLE: Never a Day Late, Never a Dollar Short
By Fern Brown
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”If I were a bear I’d hibernate all winter and ignore these bills! We can’t get one paid until another one comes in.” Marissa confided to her neighbor. She continued, “I know God will provide. He always has, but I still get anxious when my husband gets laid off every winter.”
“Don’t you save money while he’s working in the summer?” Renee asked.
“We do, but most of the summer we play catch up from the previous winter. It’s worse now than it used to be because of fuel prices. The heating bill is outrageous!”
Marissa opened her last piece of mail as they spoke. “Great. This is crazy. This health insurance bill is over one thousand dollars. They want it paid by the end of the month or they’ll cancel it and we won’t be able to renew it. No partial payments are accepted. Unions have no heart.”
“But God does. Isn’t that what you tell me all the time?”
“You are right, of course. But when so many bills hit me in the face at once I lose my focus.”
Marissa and Bob discussed their bills that evening and prayed for God to provide their need. “Dear Lord,” Marissa desperately prayed. “You’ve always been faithful to us, but I don’t see any possible way to get this insurance bill paid. Bob is working, but there isn’t enough income to cover this bill. I no longer have a job. What are we going to do, Lord? We only have three weeks to get it paid.”
A week passed. Marissa daily reminded the Lord of their urgent need. “Lord, we need this before the due date, so we can mail it in time to get there. I don’t understand but I trust you and thank you, Lord.”
The second week ended and tension mounted in Marissa’s life. “Lord, we need the money by next Tuesday or we’ll lose our insurance.”
Inaudibly she heard a tender voice, “Your other bills are already paid. Why are you worried? Trust me.”
“But Lord, I don’t see how we can do it.”
“You can’t, dear Child. Trust ME.”
The next week flew by. Three weeks ended and the insurance bill was not paid.
Marissa cried, “Lord, you promised to meet ALL of our needs. There is no way, even if we get the money today, to get this paid on time.”
“Trust ME, Child.” she heard Him whisper to her heart.
“But Lord, are you hearing me? It’s due today. I can’t hand deliver it that far away. How are you going to work that out? You promised in your Word, right here, Lord… Malachi 3:10…You promised that if we tithe and give offerings that you will open the windows of Heaven and pour out your blessings. It says right here, “Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord. YOU said it Lord. We have been faithful with our tithes and offerings. And this bill is going to be late.” Tears fell onto the page in her Bible as heaving sobs exploded from her chest.
The phone rang. “Hello Neighbor. Have you called your bank?”
“No, why would I do that?” Marissa tried to sound cheerful.
“We called our bank. We got a stimulus check from the government. You need to call.”
“Okay. I’m not sure we qualify, but I’ll call.”
“Yes, you do have a government deposit to your account,” the teller assured her, quoting the amount. Marissa thanked her and hung up. “Lord,” she began praying brokenly. She forced the words to come. “The bill is due today. You have proven yourself faithful once again in providing the money, but how can it work out time-wise?”
She called the insurance company, explaining that she couldn’t possibly get the payment there that day. The friendly voice on the other end spoke, “That’s fine. As long as the envelope is dated today, we’ll accept your payment.”
Awe struck, Marissa bowed her head humbly to the God who had never failed her. “Dear God, I understand. I have taken you for granted because you have always been so faithful. I’ve presumed upon your goodness. This situation made me ‘prove’ your faithfulness by showing me that you come through even when it’s humanly impossible. You have defeated the three-week deadline and you deserve all my worship and praise. Thank you, Father.”
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