I scanned the positions vacant advertisements daily. So many jobs I was able to do, but none of them would work with the hours I wanted to do. Or not do, as was the case.
It was too bad. I'd just have to bite the bullet, work a couple of night shifts a week and somehow stagger through the days snoozing while the children played. I could do it--I knew I could.
I talked to my husband, my mother and my friends. No-one was especially thrilled with the idea except, to some degree, me.
I did not talk to God. There was a night-shift nursing job on offer at the local rest home. I made an appointment for an interview--in two days time. And that's when I filled God in on the events of my life. "I'm going for a job interview," I told God. "When are you going to sleep?" He asked. "You can't work all night and care for three preschoolers all day." "We'll work that out," I said. Within hours my head ached, my eyes hurt and I could barely think. A blurry reminder of what I felt like in my hospital nursing days doing night duty threaded its way into my mind. I cancelled the interview. Finally, I went to God in prayer. "Dear God," I said. "We need $1000. I could go back to work but You've given me these children and I want to be with them. I don't want to retrain. I don't want to earn this money slowly. You know I will work." I would know when the right job came along because it would be offered to me. I promised God that I would not look at the job advertisements again and asked Him to remove the desire to hunt for my own job. That weekend, my friend Annette fell down a flight of stairs. She fractured her collarbone and the bones in her upper arm. None of her fractures could be set in a plaster cast and she was in a lot of pain. Worse, she had a new baby and two little preschoolers.
Annette told me she was funded to get assistance for child care and asked if I could help her care for her children, drive her to appointments, do a bit of laundry and cleaning, and help prepare some meals. Saying "Thanks" to God was all I could do.
I don't remember how long I helped Annette. It was only a few weeks but it was enough.
When my services were no longer required, I counted my wages: $1100.
Did you get that? I only asked God for $1000. He gave me $1100. He met my needs and gave me tithe as well.
God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. James 1:12. Christine Miles is a mother, writer and interpreter who lives in Auckland, New Zealand.
This story is used with permission from Signs Publishing Company. More of these stories can be found in these collections: Ordinary People—Extraordinary God, Ordinary People—Faithful God, and Ordinary People—Generous God