The prayer itself turned out to be the easy bit. The hard part is daily living that surrender. Shortly after we prayed that prayer, a magpie hit my windscreen. It exacerbated a crack in the windscreen, so it had to be replaced. Instead of worrying and going to our account to remind myself of the tiny balance, I heard my voice telling our kids that as soon as I hit that bird, God was organising enough money to get it fixed. I almost felt a bit smug really, pleased I was being faithful in the small things. I gave our problem to God and He stretched our bank account to pay for the windscreen.
Not long after the windscreen incident, we spent a day at a special needs school. The principal was sharing some of the kids' backgrounds and she pointed out a child, who we could see was autistic by his behaviour and mannerisms. She shared how his mother was a single parent and the child had a severely-autistic brother. Their house had burnt down a couple of weeks earlier and they'd lost everything. As soon as I heard this, I heard that little voice from God saying, "You need to give them some money."
As I walked toward the car, I knew I had withdrawn $100 for rent. I took it all out and stuffed it into an envelope. "God," I said, "they were probably well insured and have more money coming to them than we have."
"Give them the money," I felt God saying. I tried, "But they should have had insurance, it's their own fault!" "Give them the money," Then, I tried the bargainer: "What if I just give them one of the 50s?"
"Give them the money." I argued with God all the way back to where the principal stood, then thrust the envelope into her hand and sighed in surrender as I reminded myself to be faithful in the little things. After that, the tasks were harder. The removalist charged us more than they quoted us--and more than we had in our bank account. We prayed for the next two days while our belongings were in transit and awoke that morning confident a miracle would happen ". . . for the Bible tells me so." We checked every possible avenue, including our bank account and mailbox as the truck was unloading the last things and surprise! No extra money. We were shocked--we'd never heard of anyone living a faith ministry not having their bills paid. Then it happened again--another bill and not enough money to pay it. We faithfully claimed Bible promises but no extra money appeared. We now had the bills plus extra charges and fees.I felt like I was starting to go insane when we received an email from a friend. "Dear friends, a miracle today that I just had to share with you. I got up the courage to look in the bank account today and guess what! We had the exact amount of money in our account--to the cent--I mean literally. Our bank balance is $0.00. God gave us the EXACT amount of money we needed and not one cent more." I received the news with much joy for our friends slogging it hard in a full-time faith ministry but I was envious, too. Why weren't our bills paid? We are doing full-time faith ministry, too! But we kept seeking God's will, praying, reading and living carefully. Somehow, every now and then $1000 or $5000 would land in our account from someone, somewhere. The bills finally got paid, as did the interest charges. As we continue on, we keep reminding ourselves to hold loosely to what we have, hands open, because sometimes God asks us to give away money even when we don't think we can afford to. But it's no longer our money--it is God's money. We have come to realise that when people pray for financial blessings, the prayers are always answered when another person somewhere, probably on their knees, is listening to God. We want to be part of this circle, giving as well as receiving. It doesn't always make sense but shaping our character seems to be more important.
It has been so hard to have faith in God and give Him control of our finances. We decided to share our story, not to show how generous we are but in the hope that others will know it is difficult. We wanted to show that other ordinary people struggle in giving their finances to God, too. It is hard--but it is worth it.
I am reassured that the God who owns "the cattle on a thousand hills and the wealth in every mine" doesn't actually need our money--He wants our obedience so He can remodel our character into His image.
"For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. . . . Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory." Psalms 50:10, 15. Rochelle Melville and her husband, Brad, are volunteer co-directors of "The Pinnacle of Terror" in southern Queensland. She is also currently a homeschooling mother of three who loves to write.