Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Rest Of the Story

Some weeks ago, I told you about some financial happenings in my life. After you read the original post, entitled "Bank Error (Not) In Your Favor, I will tell you the (current) "rest of the story."

We learned something in the young fires of adversity: God always provides!

I was one of those guys who squeezed four years of college into ten. Let me clarify... I went to school for three years and mostly goofed around. Then we got married, I worked in a local church -- during which time our son was born -- and I felt God wanted me to become a pastor. Soooo, after a four-year hiatus, I went back to college as a serious student. Taking classes as much as possible while I held down a full-time job, I graduated after three more years.

It was during that time that Cathy got pregnant with twins and we didn't have health insurance. To say that money was tight was understatement.

I'll never forget the conversation as we drove home one afternoon. Cathy said she needed us to stop and pick up a few groceries. I explained that we had no money. We kept a minimum balance of $5 in our checking account and we were down to that. She told me that we couldn't do without a few very basic necessities and that our son's piggy bank contained a little bit of change we could "borrow" until payday.

We headed home, took the money from the piggy bank and drove to the grocery store.

Arriving back at our house, frugal supplies in tow, we picked up our mail. Opening it, we found a nice card from one of Cathy's aunts. It said, "We remember how tight things got sometimes when your Uncle Don was in seminary. We thought you might need this." It contained a check for $20. Other than our wedding, that may have been the only time we heard from them. That card and money was such a message of hope! (AND that's only one of the times that we received unexpected financial help during one year of our own personal recession.)

Fast forward to yesterday. I was standing in my office talking to someone about an accounting error that is costing me some dollars. We had already discovered the mistake and had taken steps to correct it right away. I found out this week that it will cost more than we originally thought and yesterday afternoon I was being told that it might still be more than I understood in the morning.

Literally in the middle of that conversation, my cell phone rang. I had picked up my car following an $800 repair job just an hour before. My mechanic was now calling to tell me that Cathy's car, which was in for a normal check-up, needs $1500 worth of work. This auto repairman has demonstrated integrity over the last 20 years or so. I know the work must be done and gave him the go ahead.

Just a moment or two later, my Blackberry buzzed, telling me I had an email. It was from a computer company that was sending me a rebate. The email said that, if I have received a check from them, don't cash it. It will bounce!

I went home a short time later, knowing that God is faithful, but feeling a little shell-shocked.

I told Cathy about it all and, when I finished she asked if she could tell me about her day. She went on to describe something that happened yesterday morning. She was able to buy some much needed quilting fabric [it's her addiction :o)] for a tiny fraction of the cost. Because she uses her hobby to make beautiful gifts for loved ones, she actually saved a bundle of future dollars.

As she told me what happened, tears were forming in my eyes.

You see, we have enough right now to take care of all these unexpected expenses. I was struggling because, just maybe it has been too easy lately to depend on my own resources to handle financial problems. My false security was being whittled away. Quilting material reminded me of words spoken by King David in the Psalm where this blog gets its name... The little that the righteous person has is better than the wealth of many wicked people.
(Psalm 37:16 GW)

These are difficult financial times. How are they affecting you?

Now, back to the latest...

The accounting error looks like it's not as bad as I originally thought. The car repair had to be done and is paid for. Hey, it's a lot less expensive than payments! The bounced rebate check? The company I bought the software from took the hit and issued new checks without us having to even ask. The rebate is safely in the bank.

I have much to be thankful for in these tough times. How are you getting along?

2 comments:

addhumorandfaith said...

As you have so eloquently said, He doth provide for today, and tomorrow is in His hands too! What more can we ask.

Sam said...

Amen, Sandra!