2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)
And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
42 cents. For most people it would be considered pocket change. Not enough to buy a bottled water or a pack of gum or even an ice cream cone. 42 cents sounds so unimpressive. Like something that we might haphazardly toss on the coffee table or drop into the bottom of our purse or shove into our pants pockets. 42 cents...not a lot of money by most people's standards, but for me it recently proved to be worth more gold.
God's Grace is Sufficient
God used 42 cents as a token, a simple symbol to demonstrate His love for me and His promise to me. His promise of how He will always take care of me. How He will always protect me. How He will always provide for me. None of which should be a surprise. After all, isn't He the great caregiver...protector...provider?
And the way He works. Yes, sometimes it is through big sweeping examples which nobody can ignore. Those "only God" ways where we know it HAD to be Him. But God also works in those quiet, subtle, thought provoking ways that make those who don't know Him and even some who do, think, "How did that work out that way?" "Was it coincidence?" "Did those things just fall into place? Well that's how God moved in my life recently.
I had gone to the UPS store to mail off the title for our van to our insurance company. The same van that 2 weeks prior had taken the children and me on a drive of terror. Racing off by itself and refusing to stop until I was forced to slam it into a tall hedge. Now I'm in the parking lot of the store, and I realize I have left my wallet at a friend's house. I need copies of our signed title before I send it off. I scour our van, looking for money to pay for copies. All I can find is a quarter, a dime, one nickel and two pennies. A measly 42 cents.
God's Grace is Sufficient
I enter the store, make my copies, then as I head to the counter to give the box to the clerk, it hits me. I am suddenly stricken with panic! Once I send this title off to the insurance company, I have nothing. No car and no prospect of getting one, so I thought...My husband and I had just been turned down for a car loan from what we later determined was an unscrupulous car dealer. The reason? Millions of thoughts run through our heads. Was it a fluke? Could it have been something with our credit? What happened? To this day, we have not been given a reason. In fact no person from the dealership ever returned our calls.
So again there I stand in the UPS store realizing once I send the title to our van, We Have Nothing!!! Crazy as it sounds, the idea of giving up a broken down piece of car was not as unsettling as having no car that belonged to us at all. My heart is pounding. My breathing is short. I'm starting to sweat. It's hard to swallow. The cashier seals the envelope for me.
Oh yes, my copies...how much do those cost? The cashier rings it up and says "That's 42 cents." 42 cents? 42 CENTS??? That's all the money I have, which God knew was all I needed.
Are you speaking to me God? Are you trying to tell me that you'll always take care of me? That you'll always protect me? That you'll always provide for me? 42 cents...I hear you, God. E X H AL E -- A calm settles in my spirit.
God's Grace is Sufficient
Once outside, I send up a praise. I am certain the Lord is telling me not to worry and that everything is under His control. I get into the van, it's a rental, and reach in the diaper bag, which I am sure I looked through earlier, and to my amazement, find some dollar bills. Hmmmm. I thought all I had was 42 cents. Thank you, God. I have enough to complete an errand.
I head to the store to pick up 2 items. I go to the check out counter and hand the cashier a 20 dollar bill. She retrieves the change and says, "Here's 9 dollars and 42 cents." 42 cents? 42 CENTS??? I am now beside myself. Not only did she give me 42 cents but it was in the EXACT denomination as what I gave at the UPS store earlier. One quarter, one dime, one nickel and two pennies. Now I am certain that God was telling me that He would not just care for me, and protect me, and provide for me. He would Restore me! Hallelujah!
1 Peter 5:7 (KJV)
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
That evening, I share the story with my husband of what we now call, "God's 42 cent promise" and we praise the Lord and both claim victory and restoration in Jesus' name! Sleep is so sweet that night.
Well, how our God restores! The next morning I awaken to a text from my husband asking me to follow up on a phone message he had left days before with a guy with whom we used to go to church. The last time we had spoken to him, he was a top salesman at a car dealership. Now he works in the finance office at the same dealership. We spoke, and he got some preliminary information from me, and said that he was confident that he could get us something that was nice that we could afford. HUH??? I'm thinking, "Didn't I just tell you that we were turned down by another car dealership, just the day before?" Our friend says he will check on things, but that he knows he can make things work.
After only a few hours, and several conversations with our friend, we finally got the call - we were out of town at the time. Our friend said that he was working to get us a good deal, but he said, and I quote, "You all must be prayed up, because the favor you are getting in this deal is incredible." He also said, "I don't know why the other guy wasn't able to get this deal done." Then he said, "Yes, I do. It's so that you could come over here and we could work this deal." He went on to say, "Your credit is excellent and basically you can get any vehicle on the property." He asked me what color van I wanted. Then he said he would call me back. Just moments later, I got the call and our friend said, with all the exuberance that I was feeling, "Verna, come down and get your car!"
The tears start welling up. Again, just a few days before, we were looking at a very basic van that did not meet some of my family's needs, but would have gotten us back on the road. We were SO grateful for the possibility of that van...and we were turned down on it. And just like THAT, our God turned that thing around and we ended up with a brand new van that has amenities which I didn't even consider being able to get and honestly didn't need, but those which I do like tremendously and that make life with children much easier. The price? Close to that of the other basic version at the other dealership for which we ended up not qualifying.
GOD'S GRACE IS SUFFICIENT!!!
It's the kind of blessing that God can do and that He wants to do for us all. So thank God for His promise and His signs, big and small, that let me know that He will never leave nor forsake me! It's a promise that He makes to everyone, but one that often goes no further because we don't always have the faith to do what is sometimes necessary to walk in His promises?
Next time on the Wednesday Word for Women, part two of this series is going to focus on the importance of letting go of things in order to make room for God's blessings.