After 15 years of successful operation, the proprietors of my premises in a prestigious shopping mall refused to renew my lease, unless I agreed to open my doors on Friday evenings and Saturdays in future. This I refused to do, because I honoured God by observing His Sabbath and returning to Him one-10th of my profits. So the management of the mall closed me down.
In the providence of God, I had opened a small suburban branch. When I was closed down, my regular clientele simply followed me to my suburban premises and I lost nothing! Instead, my little suburban shop prospered and I continued a highly successful business there for another 15 years. During that time, I had many opportunities to witness for the Lord to sales representatives, suppliers, clients and staff. I also became well known as a fundraiser for charitable organisations like Rotary, the Salvation Army and others.
When I married one of God's servants in later life, I decided the time had come to close my business so we could devote all our time to each other. I was unsuccessful in selling it as a going concern, so I decided to sell the stock and relinquish my lease.
My husband wrote an article and took a picture of me in my shop surrounded by all my stock. These we took to the editor of the local suburban newspaper and requested he place it in his columns. He declined on the grounds that if he did it for us, he'd have to do it for all. We left the story with him anyway.
The Lord must have impressed his heart, because the following week women started pouring into the shop in droves. They began panic-buying and the racks were soon almost empty. When we asked them how they had found out the shop was closing, they referred to the story in the paper. Sure enough, we found it in a prominent position, word for word as it had been submitted.
When most of the stock was gone, I phoned the owner of a boutique-chain and offered him what was left. He came out and emptied the racks into his car, paying me in cash. He then asked me what I planned to do with the shop fittings. I had planned just to lock the doors and leave them behind, since they had been depreciated with use through the years. He immediately paid me cash for them as well, dismantled them and took them away.
God has demonstrated in a thousand ways that He is faithful in keeping His promises!
Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don't pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the Lord's holy day. Honour the Lord in everything you do, and don't follow your own desires or talk idly. If you do this, the Lord will be your delight. I will give you great honour and give you your full share of the inheritance I promised to Jacob, your ancestor. I, the Lord, have spoken! Isaiah 58:13,14.
Olwyn Garne is now retired and lives with her husband, Geoffrey, 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