Malachi 3:10 – "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." (NIV)
My relationship with money has always been complicated.
We were always short of funds when I was a child, and when my father died, leaving no insurance, we depended on government assistance until I was old enough to get a job to help support myself and my mother.
I always took jobs I wanted that didn't pay very well. Over the years, I started to become financially secure. This, I believe, was linked to the fact that the Lord often prompted me to help someone financially, even though I didn't have much. The first time was paying the registration fee for someone who wanted to go to a young people's conference that I was planning to attend.
This continued over the years until I felt called to leave my job as an editor with the church, work in the community, and be self-employed — with no paycheque. Very scary! I started a consulting business. Not only was I swamped with clients, but also to my astonishment, I lost my lifelong fear of both public speaking and singing solos. I came to love doing both.
The Lord continued to present situations where I was told to give financial assistance, including loans, sometimes not returned. When that happened, He made it up in some other way.
Most frequently, He sent people across my path who gave me financial knowledge. I learned about investing and was guided to a wonderful financial advisor. My mortgage was paid off through the advice and help of another.
I eventually started a newspaper. That brought more financial challenges, and still does. The prompts still come, and so does the help. If I tell the Lord, "Not now; I am really short of money," the prompts just get stronger! Giving when money is tight somehow helps to unblock the flow.
This is my story. I am sharing it for two reasons. Many people are facing financial stress. So are churches, which find that with people worshipping virtually and not in the pews, giving is drying up.
Others must also be having these experiences. Is the Lord attempting to reach out to you? Is He asking you to look at money in a new way? Are churches being challenged, too? What about tithing? Teaching about stewardship?
I don't have answers. I can only share my experience and encourage you to look within. Is the Spirit speaking to you in some way about money?
Prayer: Lord, we are indeed worried about money. In this time of the pandemic, we have fears about being able to pay the bills. We ask for Your wisdom and guidance about finances, and the ability to hear and follow Your will. In the name of Christ, we ask this. Amen.
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