91: A Thousand-Dollar Miracle

91: A Thousand-Dollar Miracle

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Miracles

A Thousand-Dollar Miracle

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

~Matthew 7:7

“We’re short $1,000 for our school bills — I don’t know what we’re going to do!” I hated to hear the despair in my husband’s voice. Dale and I were both seminary students, newly married and living in a little two-room married-student apartment on campus. Money was very tight. Ever the optimist, I tried to encourage him, saying, “It will be all right, things will work out. Let’s pray about it. God will take care of us.” In my heart I had no idea how.

In addition to a full course load and a part-time church on the weekends, both Dale and I worked all the hours we could get at part-time jobs on campus. I had an office job; Dale worked for the grounds department. Even I couldn’t see how we could possibly make up the shortfall on our tuition bills for the semester. It got so Dale was lying awake nights, worrying about money. When he began carrying a bottle of Pepto-Bismol in his shirt pocket while riding around campus on the tractor mower, I knew we were in trouble. I persisted in trying to reassure him. “It will work out Dale, you’ll see. God will provide for us.” But inside I wondered what we were going to do if He didn’t.

The seminary grounds crew stopped work each day at 4:00 while my office hours went until 4:30—which was nice since Dale usually had supper started by the time I wandered in. But on that particular day I honestly wasn’t looking forward to another meal with the dark cloud of our unpaid tuition bill hanging over us. I dawdled on my way down the hill to our apartment building, missing the cheerful man I had married.

As I turned the key and opened the door, Dale greeted me with a huge smile on his face, holding an envelope in his hand. “You won’t believe what came in the mail today!” he announced. “What?” I suspiciously asked.

“A check for $500! With a note from my home state’s executive minister saying he was thinking about us being newly married and in seminary and all, and figured we could probably use some money from his discretionary fund. Can you believe it? $500!”

I couldn’t resist my retort, “See, I told you God would take care of us!”

“You were right—I shouldn’t have doubted,” he said. And I felt a guilty pang for my self-righteous comment.

Things were a lot more relaxed at our dinner table that evening. The next day I got home early from an afternoon class and was puttering around the kitchen when Dale rushed in all excited. He was waving another envelope in his hand. “You’re not going to believe this Laurie! There’s another check for $500!”

“Come on, Dale, you’re not even funny,” I replied.

“No, seriously, it is!” He held the envelope above his head, daring all 5’1” of me to get it out of his hand and see for myself. I had to stand on a kitchen chair, but eventually I got it. Sure enough, there was another check for $500—this one from the widow of Dale’s hometown pastor, with a note that said she had received an unexpected bequest and wanted to share a tithe of the money with the newlywed seminarians. This time, even I couldn’t believe it. We read and re-read the check and the letter, breathless at the sheer grace of God.

On Day 3, I think Dale was a little nervous about opening the mailbox. It was back to the normal pile of junk mail and bills. But why should there be more? God had met our needs in a truly miraculous way—our tuition bill was paid, and we both learned a lesson in trusting Him to provide our every need.

~Laurie Carnright Edwards

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