Part 3: Miracles of Divine Financing
Part 3: Miracles of Divine Financing
“But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus“. (Philippians 4:19)
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it“. (Malachi 3:10)
As I sit down to record some of God’s financial arrangements in my behalf, I cannot escape the applicability of John 21:25 to my experiences: “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” If I choose experiences spread over sixty years it is simply to emphasize the truth that God never forgets or forsakes His own. He cares for His sheep as well as His lambs.
I think that the greatest honor God has bestowed on me, aside from making me His son by faith, has been to send me to serve in places where we had to live by faith. If I cannot trust Him to care for me in this world, how can He expect me to trust Him to care for me in the next world? I have learned, and these examples will illustrate, that His promises are absolutely unfailing.
1916 – God Provides the Way Home
In the spring of 1916, at the close of my first year in college, three young men including myself found themselves at the entrance of an empty college dormitory, and two dollars shy of enough to buy tickets back to Maine and home. Telling my friends to take our luggage to North Station I set out for 170 Massachusetts Avenue where my friend and employer, Mr. Edgar Rhodes, had a large grocery store. After thanking him for his many kindnesses to me during the school year, I bade him goodbye for the summer and turned to leave his office. He followed me to the door at the front of the store. There he said to me, “You have done a lot of mailing for me. Do I owe you anything for postage?”
I assured him that he had been most generous and thoughtful in his provision for that expense. Still insisting he might have overlooked some items, he left in my hands as he bade me goodbye a two-dollar bill. Thank you, Lord! When the aforementioned young men arrived in Wytopitlock, Maine that night they had just 10 cents among them.
1918 – God Provides Razor Blades and Food
In the winter of 1918 I was at Bates College. One morning I found myself facing peculiar circumstances. I had a 7:40 a.m. class. That was not a problem, but the fact that I had a three-day beard and had no razor blades was. The fact that I had a man sized appetite but had no food in the house or any money in my pocket was too. Could Philippians 4:19 possibly work under such a handicap?
The only thing I was able to do was to go off to class, so off I started. When I stepped out on the verandah in the gloom of the winter morning, my eye caught the presence of something white in the mailbox. What could possibly be there, since it was hours before regular mail delivery would arrive? To satisfy my curiosity I opened the box and there lay one letter addressed to me. With trembling fingers I tore it open to find without note or name of any kind a five-dollar bill.
No, I am not ashamed that tears come to my eyes even now when I think of what an expansion God did upon my little faith that winter morning. If He could work under those circumstances, there can be nothing too hard for my God today!
1933 – An Empty Tank is Not a Problem for God!
In 1933, depression days in Aroostook County, I was invited to be guest speaker on Memorial Day in Sanford, Maine. Having accepted the invitation I began early in the spring to accumulate enough money to make the trip possible. Saturday, May 27, found me with twenty hard-earned dollars, eagerly anticipating my trip south on Monday next.
However, on Saturday night a gentleman who had bargained to bring me some wood later showed up at the parsonage with a bill for the wood which had been delivered earlier than expected. How much was the bill? TWENTY DOLLARS!
As his family needed the money now, I paid the bill without argument. The result was the time set for us to start our journey on Monday morning found us penniless. In reply to Mother’s anxious cry, “What shall we do?” I simply said, “Get ready”.
Leaving the house I made my way thoughtfully up to the Post Office. Opening the box, No. 34, and pulling out all the mail I could see I turned to leave the office when the postmistress told me I had missed a letter which was leaning against the side of the box. Thanking her, I stooped down and recovered the missed epistle. I was almost to the parsonage when I opened that letter and there it was – a perfectly blank sheet of paper wrapped around a twenty-dollar bill. I could only say, “Thank You Lord!”
We never found out where or from whom that money came. But have we any right to expect God to explain to us just how He will answer our prayers or meet our needs?
1942 – Again An Empty Tank is No Problem for God!
Of all God’s dealings financially in my behalf, one will always stand out in our memory as being especially precious and wonderful. We were living in Houlton, Maine in 1942 and as part of our source of income I was serving as interim pastor of the Oakfield Baptist Church. My commitment involved two days per week; Sunday for preaching services, and Wednesday for Prayer Meeting and pastoral calling.
It happened on a certain Wednesday that my dear wife gave the last penny we had to our eight children for their school lunches. When it came time for me to start for Oakfield I discovered that I had scarcely enough gas to get me over there, but certainly not enough to get back 25 miles. To go or not to go, that was the question. I concluded it was my responsibility to get there, so I climbed in and off I went. When I got to the top of the hill just above the village, the car sputtered and ran out of gas. I coasted the rest of the journey to the church, in front of which I finally parked all safe and sound.
Setting the brakes I left the car and I spent the afternoon calling and serving the people in various ways. While serving that church I was blessed to lead one shut-in to Christ by witnessing to him as I shaved him every Wednesday afternoon. Finally I came back to the church and waited for our evening service hour. The people came, the service was enjoyed, and we were just singing the last hymn when the door at the rear opened partially and a hand beckoned me to the door. I walked down the aisle singing the last stanza and as I approached the door it opened wider revealing a stranger who extended his hand to me and said, “I believe God wants you to have this”. With that he placed in my hand FIFTEEN DOLLARS. Turning, he walked off into the darkness.
When the people had departed I climbed into the car, released the brakes and coasted down the rest of the hill to the filling station and the gas I needed. This was yet another illustration that nothing is impossible with God!
1970 – I Can Fully Trust That God Will Provide on Time
For some years my car insurance came due on February 22. A few days before that date in 1970 I received a notice that the premium of $115.00 was due. At that time I was only about $115.00 shy of being able to meet that need, and I did not think it was right for me to drive without insurance. Yet, without the car I could not meet the calls for services. Would Philippians 4:19 prove itself true in this matter? Time would tell.
The first thing was a letter received from the Veterans’ Bureau saying that some retroactive clause in my pension authorized them to send me an adjustment check of $55.00. That left our need at $60.00, which I never mentioned to anyone but God.
Then on Friday of that week I took Mrs. D. to Gorham for her coiffure by her favorite artist. While waiting for the completion of that process I called at a nearby home. In greeting me the lady said she had hoped I would come by that day. Then she told me how that a short time before when I was at her house, God had told her to give to me a certain amount of money, but that since she did not yet have it on hand she had not mentioned the matter. But the day before I called on her, the exact amount of money from a most unexpected source fell in to her hands. She put it in an envelope with my name on it and left it on the dining room table where it lay when I arrived. At her insistence I took the envelope and put it in my pocket. When I got home, I opened it, and there it was — sixty dollars! Thank you, Lord!