A FAITHFUL FOOL
By Marcos Bomfim
As she left for work that morning, my wife, Mari, stopped to inform me that we had run out of fresh groceries. I knew she expected that I would buy some things later that day, but what she didn’t know was that not only had our food run out but also our money. What does one do when food and money run out at the same time, one has no savings, and the next paycheck isn’t due for two weeks? I felt very foolish.
Pr. Marcos Bomfim, Director, GC Stewardship Ministries, pictured here with his wife, Mariluz, returning from their first grocery shopping outing after their honeymoon.
As a district pastor, I often would stay home in the mornings to study and to prepare for my visits in the afternoons and evenings. That day, however, instead of studying, my mind flashed to my parents, my financial stronghold—at least until now—who at the time were living only five miles from us. Immediately I shrank back, recalling how my father had kindly warned me to postpone our marriage until my financial situation was more stable and we would have some savings. I had assumed, however, that love itself would be able to solve everything, and so we were married anyway.
Putting tithe and our Promise 1 as the first items in our budget was a principle for both of us, as was our goal of not falling into debt for any reason. We had planned adequately to pay for regular living expenses and for the many bills related to the wedding, but, foolishly, we had failed to plan for savings and for unexpected expenses! This time, the unpredicted expense came in the form of a seized-up motor in our old vehicle. I’ve heard it said that “many families are only a paycheck from bankruptcy; if they fail to receive their next income, they are financially dead.” This was our situation.
As I recognized my imprudence and lack of wisdom, I was too ashamed to share it with anyone! Kneeling before the Lord and confessing my sin, I recalled a sermon I had heard when I was a young teenager, about the time I became a Promisor 2 : “How big is your God? Is He able to fulfill His promises? Do we understand them correctly? Are they only tales to fool naïve believers? Are they merely tools in the hands of prosperity theology advocates or used by crafty and greedy leaders to deceive their unwary members?”
"I did not consider-even for a moment-that all this had happened by chance."
I decided to test God’s promises. “Is it true,” I wondered, “that He is able to open wide ‘the windows of heaven, and pour out for [us] such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it’?” (Mal. 3:10, NKJV). Could it become my reality? Would it happen even today? As a pastor I’m supposed to preach about these things, so I decided to find out for myself.
Moments later I was at the wardrobe, searching pocket by pocket for any money they might contain. The result was a few small bills, enough, I thought, to buy only some very cheap bananas. Surprisingly, it turned out to be enough for me to also purchase 12 oranges and three zucchinis at the street market.
Later, while feeding my chickens, a neighbor offered me a bunch of lettuce and kale. I also decided to accept an offer from an elderly pastor a few days before; he had said if I would pick the avocados from his tall avocado tree, I could keep half of them.
When Mari arrived home for lunch our table was so full of food that we realized it would be impossible to use all of it before it spoiled, so she suggested that on my way home that evening from giving Bible studies that I stop and give some of it to my parents. When I arrived at my parents’ home my mother had two large whole wheat loaves of bread waiting for me, along with a gallon of pure milk from the healthy “Adventist” cows at Brazil Adventist University in Sao Paulo.
I thanked my parents and left without saying anything about our financial situation. But after I had driven my old car just a few blocks, I had to pull over and stop because tears had impaired my vision. I did not consider—even for a moment—that all this had happened by chance. I was certain these were blessings from God!
There is a God in heaven who is “a sun and shield,” and “no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Ps. 84:11, NKJV). I am convinced that “the young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing” (Ps. 34:10, NKJV), even young, foolish husbands!
1 Percentage-based offering, given by principle, as God’s Word suggests, every time there is an income.
2 Person committed to putting the Lord first in everything, including the returning of tithe and the giving of percentage-based offerings any time there is an income.