Years ago, when I wrote books as work-for-hire projects, I joked with my husband, “I got another contract. Wonder which appliance will break down now?” The comment wasn’t entirely in jest. Proceeds from book contracts did indeed replace most of our kitchen appliances.
Writers usually think of God’s provision as receiving a new contract. But the Lord provides in other ways too. One example happened to me with my computer a few days ago.
We discovered we needed a new Internet router about the same time my computer died. Using my tablet, I searched online for remedies for my sputtering desktop. Every source declared that I could say goodbye forever. I shopped for a replacement.
I decided on a model priced at $1,400. After interviewing me, the computer representative over chat told me I didn’t need such an elaborate machine. An $800 computer would suit my needs. On paper, at least, she saved me $600. I’m accustomed to being upsold, so being told I could spend less felt like a treat. I planned to go to the store after the Verizon technician installed the new router.
Roll ahead two hours. To my delight, my trusty desktop fired up better than ever after we upgraded our Internet. This happened before I wasted an evening buying a computer I thought I needed but did not. Even better, I didn’t discard the old computer and then install a new one without realizing the machine I already owned could still serve me well. What a waste that would have been. I felt like I had an extra $1,400, or at least $800, in my pocket. We are in First World Problem territory here, but I couldn’t help but feel the Lord’s provision.
Of course, no one can pay a utility bill and buy groceries with money saved on paper. We need wages and contracts. But how many times has the Lord worked in your life to save you cash so that a small contract is enough or a delay in payment isn’t a tragedy?
Does the old car keep running in spite of itself?
Is a needed item unexpectedly on sale?
Has a neighbor brought over a casserole just because?
Did you discover you owe less than anticipated for an item or service?
How about your health? If you can stay away from the doctor, your wallet will be thicker.
Earning money from writing is a challenge. With any lifestyle, preserving the funds you already have is an effective way toward joy and abundance. The Lord has us covered. Look, and you shall see.
It is rather funny,
but no insurance serves me well;
I run like Energizer Bunny
right straight outta hell.
Cancer would be a harsh expense
(that I can clearly see)
but it was never one of my intents
that Barb’s in penury,
and so I do this on my own
(it’s rough, that I won’t hide),
but never have I been alone
for God’s been by my side
down every step along the path,
every time we cry or laugh.
I do think that not having health insurance, much less medical care, had been beneficial to longevity, as everything is in God’s hands, and there’s no recourse but trust.
There are other factors as well, like personal accountability being absolutely necessary, and absence of the dehumanizing aspects of modern medical care, like having a doctor not look at you once while asking form questions from a laptop (this from my last visit), such as “In what ways are you depressed?”
“I’m not. I’m fine.”
“In what manner does this depression manifest in daily life?”
“I said I’m NOT depressed?”
“Would you be willing to see a counselor for your depression?”
Tamela Hancock Murray
Andrew, I’m so sorry you had that experience. I hope you can find another doctor who won’t hope to get rid of you by throwing anti-depressants at you and calling it a day.
Tamela Hancock Murray
P.S. — You deserve so much better than that!
Tamela, thank you so much. My doctor was, I think, doing his best by his own lights, and was constrained by the requirements of digital recordkeeping (which, I understand, requires just that question-and-answer format), and by his own very heavy workload. I never went back, due to limited finances, and he died shortly thereafter.
I think he wanted to be an old-fashioned country doctor, and the world wouldn’t let him.
But, honestly, living with the pain, the fatigue, and the foreknowledge of the fashion of my death makes life richer than it ever was. Moments are no longer building-blocks, but unique jewels given to me by God, and sufficient unto themselves.
Tamela Hancock Murray
I’m sorry to hear about the doctor, Andrew. Thank you for showing that there are two sides to every story. I reacted to your comment the way I did because I’ve heard many stories of patients being dismissed by doctors and not feeling heard. I do know today’s pressures on doctors, with so many medical practices being run by corporations rather than individual doctors, have changed how doctors and patients interact. I am glad you have found blessings and hope that a perfect doctor for you is among those blessings!
Yeah. My doctors are going bald tearing their hair out. When one beams a grin and tells me my arteries are clean, good heart, an so on, they always ask what’s the secret. I tell them I’m American Indian and we have an old diet saying, if it ain’t deep-fried is it food? It usually takes a few minutes for shock and disbelief to wear off. We like lard and beef tallow. Chicharrons are almost a daily thing (deep-fried fat). But no way never ever anything with gluten! For that matter, when I have to tell them NO CARBS some act like it’s past their nap time and stagger a little. Peace to you and His love
Martin, I love this! My wife is part Comanche, and thinks very much along the same lines.
Molly Jo Realy
Tamela this post is so timely and spot on. I edit to supplement my income and when projects don’t come through it can put me in panic mode. Thank God He is bigger than my debt or my doubt.
Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D.
Tamela, when I moved from one state to another, it was amazing how God provided for my every need. I needed a house that was close to work. He provided one that was not scheduled to be available, four minutes from campus. I was concerned about moving from a large house to a small one, a large lot to a postage stamp lot, and where I was going to wash my clothes He provided the same size house but with more living space, a larger lot than the one I left (and free lawn care!), and a brand new washer and dryer steps from my master bedroom. I saw how God’s hand was in everything, providing for me before I even knew I had the need. God is amazing! But then, He is God.
Wow, I love this post! What a great reminder today as I am working through some challenges!!!
Lester L. Stephenson
Praise God forevermore!
Tamela,, thank you for reminding me that God’s provision isn’t always in the signing of a contract but in a little things like getting a good price on a computer. Our Lord does that all the time.
Thank you. As I sat and read your post I am patiently waiting for a mitigation crew to help with a flooded and I mean flooded basement. God is still in control and had other plans for me. Plans that are good — in spite of what I can see at the moment!
I love hearing (and reading) testimonies of God’s providence.
Thank you for the reminder … God’s timing and provision are perfect!
Love this article! My mind and ability is bound by my own imagination but His timely, specific provision for a need leaves me awestruck! Grateful for my God who can and does provide for His children!
Nice. Quite Timely
Tamela, thank you for sharing your story of God’s provision! I love hearing and sharing ways God has provided. The Lord took me through a prolonged, desperate time once, so He could show me He alone is my provider. He sustained me in many, various ways, but the one I share most is how God saved my life.
When I was going through my time of adversity, I was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer through a free clinic. Since I had no health insurance, they told me I would have to find a surgeon who would do the surgery for free. After several weeks of searching and hitting roadblocks, I was ready to let the cancer take its course. Friends at church prayed for me, and two days later, God led me to a five-star oncology surgeon who performed my surgery that week, for free. I learned so much from that experience, and I believe God has preserved my life so I can tell the story of His faithfulness and provision, so others will know that the same God who helped me can help them, too.
Karen Louise Spencer
Thank you, Tamela, for always providing us with uplifting words of wisdom. Your story of the rejuvenation of your old laptop is a reminder to me that when we’re told to believe all is lost—we must remember that the Lord has the power to restore all things to glory. As you pointed out, material things could in no way be compared to the sometimes-overwhelming struggles we humans must face. But when times are lean, having a refrigerator or air conditioner suddenly give up the ghost can be a tremendous burden on a family already struggling to get by.
I’m reminded of a time many years ago, as a single parent, when without warning, my old car dropped dead. I had already registered for classes at the college for the fall—and now I had no way to get there. When everyone told me to cancel my classes, I was undeterred. I prayed daily for the Lord to provide transportation. Then, things got worse, when I was informed that all the buses scheduled to pick-up children at childcare facilities in our township were already full.
Again, when things appeared hopeless, I prayed. But the Superintendent insisted that there were no buses available. I thanked her for her time and told her that I’d continue to pray for an opening. Miraculously, she called back within an hour. Not only did she find a spot for my son on a bus, but it went to the daycare that I had already registered him in.
With my son’s transportation problem solved, I still needed a way to get to college. However, the closest public bus stop was over a mile away, which meant I’d need to walk. Then, out of the blue, a high school friend called to see how I was doing. After hearing of my car troubles, she told me that her husband had just won a beat-up Honda Accord in a card game. She gave me that car one week before the start of school. Despite the funny looks I received due to it’s badly dented exterior, that car drove like a tank. This is merely two examples of the miracles that I’ve experienced in my life—and why I remain grateful every day for the Lord’s blessings.
I laughed out loud at the appliance line. So true. A few years ago I got an unexpected check from the sale of rights to one of my books. Finally I was getting ahead! The next day, I am not making this up, the next day the CPA who does my taxes phoned to tell me I had underpaid my tax bill and the amount was a little more than I had just received. I had to make the hard choice of lamenting or being thankful. I suppose I did a little of both, which I believe makes me human. Thank you for that line about the appliances.
Thank you, Tamela. A good reminder that the main thing is the main thing, for He has said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”
It’s not my money so I pray about purchases. It’s not my vehicle, so I pray over it. My old pastor used to joke about my miracle vehicles. Only a miracle could keep them on the road and running well. I’m not a mechanic (was raised around work horses and cattle, not cars) so it’s not likely I’d do much but simple things. For all reading this, God, please put Your Holy Spirit on their cars and trucks. I cover them with the Blood of the Lamb Jesus! Amen.
Amen! He has us covered.
This made me smile. I’m still driving (and sharing) the car my husband and I bought when I was pregnant with our daughter. She’s now driving that car. God is so good to us and takes care of us in so many ways.
Blessings to you, Tamela!
Pamela Desmond Wright
Very timely post, Tamela. I feel as if this post is speaking to me in so many ways. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and grace with the rest of us.
Dawn Alicia Shipman
Thank you for this reminder. It’s so easy to get caught up in the troubles of life. Your story–and that of so many of these folks who have commented here, has been so encouraging to me.
Ronda Wells MD
I’ve worked as an independent consultant for 30 yrs. We were concerned at first about the uncertainty of volume from month to month, but after awhile I realized a clear pattern had developed. Busy months preceded an unknown need! Slow months occurred right when I needed time for other things -even surgeries. This has happened so many times, we are certain Yahweh Jireh is behind it. The Lord supplies.
My husband and had a problem with a drain to the septic tank in our cabin here in Alaska, probably caused by a minor earthquake.
So, we unearthed the line to see a rather corkscrewed pipe. Now what?
We prayed, “Lord, please guide us to a plumber.”
That evening we went to a Bible study at a church we had never attended. A gentleman met us at the door with, “Hello. I’m Ben, God’s plumber.”
After such an introduction, we had to tell him our problem.
“No problem. I’ll come by tomorrow.”
He did, and not only helped us with the installation of a new pipe, he remains a dear friend and visits us when he is in the area. He was a Chicago union pipe fitter, on vacation in Alaska.
Great post, and oh, so true. The Lord’s provision can be in manifold ways, not just monetary ways. He is good!
Thanks for your short BLOG messages. I fully agree with the unique ways the Lord provides.
I was to start a small Renovation project in my house costing about $10,000. I didn’t know where the money would come from, knowing my limited resources. I just said off-hand: “The Lord will provide”. The next week I received a refund from the IRS for $1400, so I started with that and gradually found the funds to complete the project. It was the IRS refund which started the project, and the Lord did provide. I’m an unemployed senior widow, living on minimal monthly income.
We just went through the same thing, on a smaller scale! My hedge trimmer died. It’s older, so I thought, okay. Time to replace it. Then my weed whacker died. Well. that’s only two years old, so something else must be up. Turns out it was our 27-year-old electric extension cord! For the price of one 100-foot cord, I saved replacing two more-expensive garden tools. And don’t forget to check your night-out handbags. I am forever leaving cash in those small inside pockets. A $20 here, a $10 there – it adds up! Nice finds …
For the past 5 years, I’ve managed to remain a stay-at-home mom—my first mission—in spite of now being single with no support. God has Always provided. Changing from a lifestyle of affluence and financial independence to one of complete, day-to-day dependence on God has provided an opportunity for real spiritual growth. Not easy, but eye-opening and heart-warming. So good to hear everyone’s stories. God is always faithful.
You probably didn’t mean to make me laugh out loud or tear up with this blog, Tamela, but you did both. The Holy Spirit was certainly nudging you to address this topic at this time. This was just the message I needed to read today. Thanks for being an encouraging, balanced, faith-filled voice in this industry.
Do I know this! I try to work hard to keep trucking, to build a savings so I dont have to work until I’m 100. Like many, I found myself in a bad financial situation and with no retirement and no savings. I do not recommend waiting until your mid 40s to enter the workforce. You have to work 3 x as hard for a much smaller pay. When things like car repairs come up, it’s almost suffocating.
A few weeks ago my car started acting up. Hesitanting at stop lights, acting like it didn’t want to run. The cost of repairs was going to cost over 1100 dollars. I kept praying my editor would approve the portions of a book I turned in so I could receive payment and get my car fixed so I could keep getting to work without cutting into what little savings I have. Now, I decided a while back that a grand portion of all my book money would go into savings to help build a retirement so I didn’t have to work a 9-5 until I’m 100. I decided to ask the family mechanic. Well, he broke his hand and had to have surgery. So, after aot of stressing and contemplating, I bought the parts myself and with the help of my dad, fixed the car for 33 dollars. It still runs a little rough, but I don’t have to recite an obsessive “please get me to work” prayer the entire way to work. All of that to say, I gained a bit of experience and accomplished something and saved over 1000.00 dollars.
Amazingly, God knows what we need before we ask, and he makes provisions we cannot fathom. I love it when he shows off and does the unexpected for us.