“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Prov. 18:10
It is good for me to revisit all of the ways the Lord has miraculously provided in my life. It is good for me to remind myself that He has never not provided. It is good for me to remind myself that He will still provide.
About a year and a half ago, we were on our way to church. I was feeling exceedingly sorry for myself. I cried bitter tears the entire drive. I was in desperation, and I was slipping in my faith. I had a new baby, Justin had just had yet another emergency surgery, and while his infection had not returned as we had feared, I was weary. He had a new job making in an entire year what he had made in less than 3 months at his former job. We were struggling to make ends meet. We didn’t even have enough in our bank account to write the tithe check that we were slipping into the offering plate that morning. I was angry. I silently prayed bitter, angry prayers.
I pulled myself together enough to walk into church, and I was desperately hoping to hear what the sermon would be today, because I knew I needed some good preaching. The minute the singing stopped my pager went off. Of course. My new daughter would insist upon eating before I had a chance to hear the message. Another wasted day, I thought. I practically stomped down to the nursery, grabbed my baby, and went to feed her. We were alone in the room, and I began to sink deeper in my self-pity. In a few moments, another mom and baby joined us. It is a sweet friend that I don’t often get a chance to chat with. She is wise beyond her years and loves Jesus with a tenacity that inspires me constantly. I wasn’t feeling particularly chatty, but she began to share her heart with me, not put off by my foul mood.
She began to share with me that no one knew this, but they were deeply struggling financially. (Yes, I know how that is! I thought as I inwardly groaned and rolled my eyes) She went on to confess that their water heater had broken and they had no money to fix it. And with tears in her eyes, she passionately said, “But Emily, do you know what? I thank God everyday that He gave me a stove that works so I can heat our water every morning.” I missed the sermon that morning, but I had heard exactly what God had for me.
I was nearly weeping by the time church was over and we all met at the car. Realization of ‘how bad’ I had it had changed. Repentance was sweet. I couldn’t wait to share with Justin. I was surprised to find him quietly crying when I got to the car. As I shared my story with him, he handed my an envelope. Our Pastor Staner had run out of the auditorium to give Justin an envelope. It was from an anonymous giver, and when we opened it several hundred-dollar bills fell out. The giver confessed that they too had suffered the loss of a job and been struggling to make ends meet, but they promised the Lord, that whenever they had extra, they would joyfully give to others, as so many had blessed them by giving. There was a verse in the card – “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”
That Sunday, turned out to be our Pastor Staner’s last Sunday at our church. The next week he died of a massive heart attack. Many people have many sweet, sweet memories of him, but the image of him running out to give us a gift is one of our sweetest. The money that the unknown giver had given us more than covered our meager tithe. I was so worried that day about putting all we had in the offering plate, but God had something even more waiting for us. He rewarded me in spite of my faithlessness. The name of the Lord is a strong tower…