110: The Source

110: The Source

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tough Times, Tough People

The Source

Faith is building on what you know is here, so you can reach what you know is there.

~Cullen Hightower

I was having a hard time getting the cold lump of fear out of my throat.

I deserved this hour of relaxation. I lay on the bed trying to read an inspirational magazine. But I couldn’t stop worrying about the rent and bills due in only three days.

My husband, Wayne, and I were both good at sales. But lately it seemed everything we tried ranged from barely getting by to unsuccessful. The recession wasn’t helping. Although we had worked hard and prayed hard, it had been a discouraging week. Sales already made were slow in paying, some had fallen through, and it seemed everyone else had conspired to “wait until after the first of the month to decide.” Our little cash was disappearing with terrifying speed no matter how careful we were.

“Lord, help. I’m trying to trust you, but I know You don’t usually rain down money from heaven. I know where money comes from. And if our hard work doesn’t pay off, what are we going to do?” The lump in my throat tried to push its way out into full-blown panic.

Wayne headed for the garage to finish some repairs on our car, another unplanned expense. “I put a scoop of food in the dogs’ dishes and closed the door,” he informed me. “You can open the door when it’s time for them to eat.” He knew I was strict about their mealtime.

What Wayne hadn’t counted on was that Tavis, our sheltie boy, turned frantic when he knew there was food he couldn’t reach. Always food motivated, he pushed at the door with his nose, then his paw, but it was latched tightly. He stared at the door as though he could will it to open. “He’s watching the supply instead of the source,” I realized with a sudden flash of inspiration. “Why doesn’t he come ‘ask’ me? I could easily open the door for him. I could feed him from the bucket of dog food in the garage, from the kitchen, or from McDonald’s or some other place he doesn’t even know about! I’m a never-ending source for him, and he’s concentrating on one scoop of dog food he can’t get to.”

“Am I doing that, Lord? Am I looking at all the ways to make money, not at the Owner and Source of all things? I say I trust You, but then I count my resources as I see them and forget you have ways and means I can’t even imagine.”

I watched another few minutes quietly as Tavis continued to stare at the door, whined softly, and tried again to push it open with his paw. When would he realize he couldn’t do it by himself? Would he come to me? How long would it take?

Finally I whispered softly, “Tav, tell me what you want.” His ear twitched back in acknowledgment of my voice but he had important business to attend to. He lay down patiently but his eyes never left the door. “Tavis, come tell me.” Another twitch but no attention.

God was whispering to my heart too. “Tavis is looking at the problem, not the solution.” It all seemed so clear. I was doing the same thing. How long had God been whispering my name? “Look at Me, not the problem....”

Louder, I asked, “Tavis, what do you want?” He looked at me, then the door, ran halfway across the room toward me, but then returned to stare at his unattainable goal.

“That’s my problem, too, God,” I whispered. “I want to look to You. But I’m so consumed with my problems, I can’t tear loose long enough to trust You.”

“Tavis, come tell me.” My firm tone finally broke through his concern. With a sudden look of doggy inspiration, he galloped to my side, wagging, whining, trying his best to “talk.” He had remembered his source. And with his inspiration, I found my own.

Picking up my wiggly friend, I whispered to him, “I know how to open that door. Why didn’t you come to me before?” As he showered my face with kisses, I added, “And you know how to open doors for us, Father. I don’t know exactly how we’ll pay all the bills next week or next month. But I know You’re our Source, and You know the way.”

The next morning, Wayne answered the phone. “The software we advertised last week? Yes, we have some left. Ten? Yes, we have them in stock. Yes, this afternoon would be fine. We’ll see you then.” We did a little victory dance around the kitchen, laughing and praising God. Why should we have been surprised? The money was exactly what we needed to cover the rent and bills.

Many times since then God has supplied our needs in surprising ways. We never know just what He will do, but we know now without a doubt where our Source is!

~Evie Mack

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