77: Surprise Letter

77: Surprise Letter

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times

Surprise Letter

By Teresa Hoy

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

~Philippians 4:19

I dropped the checkbook onto the kitchen table and buried my face in my hands. I wanted to cry. No matter how I calculated and refigured, I was fifty dollars short to pay a bill that month. Where was I going to get the extra money?

Being newly married, I didn’t know exactly what other accounts we had or even where they were located. I didn’t have any spare money from my job or any hidden savings account to draw from. I could have asked my husband’s advice, but he was on a military flying assignment and couldn’t easily be reached. And I couldn’t wait for his return. The bill was due in a few days.

I shoved back from the table, frowning, and began to pace. I ended up in the living room, striding back and forth, my hands clasped behind my back as I stared at the carpet. Every now and then I let out a troubled sigh. Dread wended its way through me, like a thorny vine prickling and squeezing tighter and tighter, until I could hardly breathe from worry. At that point, I did the only thing I knew to do. I dropped to my knees and prayed, “Oh, God, I know I shouldn’t worry, but I can’t figure out what to do. I trust that you will help me find a way to pay that bill.” After that, I stopped pacing. I put away the calculator and checkbook.

A couple of days later, I got the mail and found an envelope addressed to my husband. Since my husband was gone so much, I always opened all of the mail as soon as it arrived. I opened the envelope and took out the folded sheet of paper. Something slid from inside the letter and floated to the floor. My heart somersaulted when I picked it up and saw it was a check for the exact amount of fifty dollars. I didn’t recognize the name of the man who signed the letter, but he thanked my husband for lending him the money on an Air Force flight two years earlier. He was sorry it had taken him so long to pay it back.

I was suddenly crying joyful tears. The beauty of God is that He never gives me too much or too little. He gives me exactly what I need. I bowed my head and poured out my thanks.

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