God gives you just what you need just when you need it.
by Rhett H. Wilson, Sr.
God provided in an unusual way and challenged me to trust Him financially in the years that followed my college experience. The summer after graduation, while preparing for seminary, I worked as a children’s minister. God created a situation that summer to prove Himself faithful and to teach me that I could trust Him to provide for my present and future needs.
One Wednesday afternoon, I visited a Crossway bookstore in Greenville, S.C. Browsing the shelves, I sensed God’s quiet, consistent nudge: “Buy these five books, and give them to the man you disciple.” I knew that Voice. And I questioned that Voice. As a young man on the way to seminary, I didn’t have money to squander. I prayed, Lord, You know I don’t have money to spare. But if this is You, I will trust You. As an act of obedience, I purchased the books for $48.
Later, feeling foolish and questioning my experience, I went to church and walked into my office. Stan, the custodian, came in and presented an envelope. I asked, “Who is this from?” He answered, “I don’t know.” I said, “What do you mean, you don’t know?” He replied, “That’s what they told me to tell you, I don’t know.” Stan left, and I opened the envelope. Inside was a note that read, “God knows our needs before we ask Him.” A $50 bill accompanied the unsigned note.
I sat down. I was stunned. God saw me. God guided me. I heard from Him. And He was real. I could step out in faith and trust Him to be faithful. I worshiped Jehovah-Jireh who sees and in seeing provides.
God was teaching me the reality of Luke 6:38: Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure — pressed down, shaken together, and running over — will be poured into your lap.
God is the Provider for my family. He can be trusted. We can risk some of what we have today and trust Him for what we need tomorrow.
Trust In the Tough Times
The next three years during tight financial days at seminary, I returned to this mental altar time after time, reminding me of the Lord my Provider. I could look to God first — not the bank account. God knew my needs before I asked Him.
Charles Stanley asks in his book The Source of My Strength (Thomas Nelson), “Are we trusting in our fullness, or are we trusting in God?”
Almost two decades later as a father of three children, I find myself learning to look to God as my Source and trusting Him for the needs of five people — not just one. The lesson that God began teaching me in that bookstore when I was a lone student applies just as much now as it did then. God is the Provider for my family. He can be trusted. We can risk some of what we have today and trust Him for what we need tomorrow.
Three years ago, our family believed God was leading us to take a huge step of faith. I resigned from my current position without a job — trusting Him for the next step.
While attending an October prayer retreat at Ridgecrest Conference Center, I stretched out facedown on the cement slab of a shelter my children used during summer camp. I prayed, Lord, I have no idea how I am going to provide for my family. Christmas is coming, and I’ll need money for Christmas presents. But Father, if I know You’re leading us, I’ll step out and obey You. The Father confirmed that day to my wife and me to move forward, and I resigned that afternoon — a scary move.
One month later, a friend took me out to lunch. I had told no one about my fear of not having money for Christmas presents. Leaving the restaurant, he followed me to my car, put his hand on my shoulder, and said, “Rhett, I believe you’ve obeyed the Lord, and I respect you for stepping out in faith. I know that Christmas is coming, and you want to bless your children. I just want you to know that I support you as you follow God.” He handed me a sealed envelope filled with $1000 in cash.
Faith for the Journey
As we stepped out in faith that season, the Lord eventually led us to be part of a new church plant. Our former church graciously compensated me for several months after my resignation. By the time that provision ended, I was working in my new position.
Life continues to hold challenges for my wife and me to trust in God’s provision. We work. We give. We try to spend wisely. We trust Him to care for us. And we continue learning the lesson that we can depend on the God who sees us and knows our needs — both today and tomorrow.
Rhett H. Wilson, Sr., D. Min., pastors The Spring Church in Laurens, S.C., and blogs at rhettwilson.blogspot.com. He enjoys doing life with his wife and three children, exploring waterfalls in the Carolinas, reading and writing, and listening to wholesome country, classical, and Broadway music. He trusts God for the next steps in life.
This article originally appeared in the January, 2014 issue of Home Life. Subscribe