Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: TRUST (07/21/16)
TITLE: Out Of The Blue
By Chris Goglin
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Tom shrugged his shoulders, and went about his business.
Married for more than 25 years, Sally and Tom had reached their breaking point. They were barely able to pay their mortgage payment, along with other commitments, and saw no end in sight.
Sally leaned over the kitchen table trying to prioritize several late bills, cradling her head in her hands. “How did we get in so much debt?” She longed for an explanation. “I want to trust God for a solution, but can’t seem to pry myself out of this mess.”
“Well,” Tom said, rocking back and forth on his heels, “We did pay for your sister’s electric bill last month, and for the much needed aluminum-siding on your parent’s home. And did you forget our new business, and the home we built? It all adds up!”
“I know,” Sally sighed. “We are still paying off the kid’s college tuitions, and the airline tickets from Dave’s funeral. Our credit cards are maxed out! I guess we are poor money managers. God is punishing us; maybe the love of money really is the root of all evil.”
Tom gave Sally a reassuring squeeze sensing she was going to lose it.
“Calm down. We are not being punished…we just have extenuating circumstances. 911 happened. We lost our business. We had to refinance our home, and then had to sell it! We even had to pay an enormous pay-off penalty too!” Remember Proverbs 3:5, ‘Don’t lean on your own understanding, but trust in God.’ You are leaning way too much!”
The middle-aged couple had gone from upper middle-class status to near poverty in a matter of two years. Tom was contemplating bankruptcy; he walked down the driveway to get the mail. Bringing back another pile of familiar-looking envelopes, he dumped them on the kitchen table. “You can open them; it’s too depressing for me,” biting his lip.
Skimming through the mail, Sally laughed as she noticed several credit card offers. “You are pre-approved.” Hmmm, I guess they don’t bother to check our credit before sending these out!
“Let’s see, the electric bill…water company, and a late fee for trash pickup. Oh…and more advertising and sweepstakes.” Sally threw them in the trash.
“Hey,” said Tom, “don’t throw the sweepstakes away. Maybe we will win…someone has to, right?”
Tom reached into the overstuffed wastebasket and retrieved a green envelope with a bank name on it.
“Yes, looks fake, but maybe we will win something.” He waves around the phony-looking check with an 800 number on it, teasing Sally with it.
“Give me that, you’re being silly. Throw that away!”
“I’m going to call this number and see if we won a cruise or something.” Tom said with a smirk.
“No dear; they always talk you into some insurance plan or magazine subscription. Just leave it.”
“Too late…I’m calling.”
Sally indignantly walked out of the room.
Several minutes passed and Tom reappeared in the living room as Sally looked up from the TV.
“Well, are you satisfied?” Sally smiled mischievously.
“Tom? —What’s the matter?”
Tom just stood there with his eyes wide and glowing.
“Honey, this is a real check! It was the Mortgage company. They said a mistake was found during an audit. Remember the enormous penalty we had to pay? —If they didn’t do the audit, we never would have received this!”
“But,” feeling her blood pressure rise, “I threw it away! Thank heavens you pulled it back out.”
Tom held out the check as if it was a priceless gemstone.
“It’s for $3,000!
Sally put her hand over her mouth with a muffled squeal. “I don’t believe it!”
“See…”, Tom was grinning from ear to ear, “God’s not punishing us dear, he is providing for us. We need to trust him more! I think we need to thank him right now.” They both bowed their heads and prayed with gratitude and joy.
Several amazing checks have arrived in the mail since then. God answers prayers, unexpectedly, and right on time!
“You Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3, NIV).
Non-fiction: True Story
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