We were at camp meeting. It was Sabbath morning, and I woke up arguing with God. “I could have married a rich surgeon! I think it is enough of a financial sacrifice to be married to a pastor.”
We had an annual camp meeting evangelism offering, and the night before I had been impressed to ask the people to pray and ask God how much they should give. Then we had a time of silence while the congregation prayed.
God was after me to ask Him the same question. I was afraid. I didn’t want to give more money than we had. I already knew the amount God was impressing me to give. “There is no way we can do this,” I told God. “We don’t even have that much money in our savings account.”
When I opened my Bible, my eyes fell on a verse that shook me up. “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45, NKJV).
Later, Jerry asked, “How much is God telling you that we should give?” I said, “You don’t want to know. You will just laugh at me.” In the past, if I had told Jerry some new idea I had for giving to a worthy cause, he had just patted me on the shoulder and said, “We will think about it.” End of conversation.
This time he didn’t give up, so I told him, expecting uncontrollable laughter. Instead he said, “We must do it!” I passionately explained why we couldn’t. “We don’t have that kind of money. We can barely pay our bills.”
Smiling, Jerry said, “We can sell our furniture.” Nobody would want our old, hand-me-down furniture. He handed me the pledge envelope and told me to turn it in.
My son Zac weighed in. “Mommy, if God told you to give that amount, you should do it.” I left crying and turned in the pledge with tears and trembling. I had no idea where we would get the money.
That was July. We had until the next June to pay it off. By March, our pledge was paid in full! God did amazing things, and the money came in many different ways. It was an incredible, life-changing experience for our whole family.
The next year, I knew God would not expect us to give that much money again. But this time when we asked God how much to give, He doubled the amount. In faith, we decided to do it. And again, God blessed with the money.
Yes, we had to make some sacrifices and changes in our family spending. But what a blessing it was for our family! I don’t have space to share all the blessings that came our way— new furniture, cars, houses, and clothing—and all in incredible ways.
Instead of arguing over money, Jerry and I started to work together on how we could give more to God. It has been the biggest blessing to our marriage and to our sons.
I have limited God so many times. He has been teaching me to follow Him and showing that He will provide. If you are struggling with finances, I would encourage you to sit still and listen as you read the Bible. God will show you how to live life differently. The unknown can be scary. But you can never outgive God!