95: An Ordinary Miracle

95: An Ordinary Miracle

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel

An Ordinary Miracle

If you have worry, you don’t have faith, and if you have faith, you don’t have worry.

~Jack Coe

“Can we go out for lunch after church, Mom?” my seven-year-old son, Jordan, asked.

“Sorry, but we can’t today, bud,” I said.

He looked down at his feet and sighed. “No extra money this week?”

I felt the always-present lump in my throat grow bigger at his words. As a single mother of two, money was a constant concern for me, and it made me sad that my young children were already aware of my troubles. I longed to protect them from it, but Jordan was too perceptive. He read my emotions, and all too often he carried a burden he was too young to bear.

I patted his shoulder and tried to smile. “Maybe we can grab some pizza next weekend.”

He shrugged. “Yeah, maybe.”

I dropped Jordan and his sister off in the children’s church and then headed for the sanctuary. I sang a few hymns with the rest of the congregation and then the pastor stood up to give his sermon.

“Do you trust God to meet your needs?” the pastor asked. “I mean, really trust Him?”

I thought about his words and decided that I did trust God.

“Do you worry about your finances?” the pastor continued. “Because if you worry, you aren’t trusting God to meet your needs.”

If I worry? It was practically the first thing on my to-do list every morning.

The pastor shared several real-life stories of people who had nothing and God took care of them. I thought about the many times in my own life that I’d had more bills than money, but somehow, my children and I never went hungry.

“God works miracles every day, but we have to trust Him,” my pastor said. “God does His best work when His people trust that He will take care of them.”

I bowed my head and asked God to help me trust Him to provide for my children and me. In that moment, I felt more peaceful than I had in more than a year.

My pastor wrapped up his sermon and then the offering plates were passed. Most Sundays, I didn’t contribute anything. After all, I had nothing to spare.

But I’d decided to trust God with my finances. For the first time in months, I reached for my purse. I had sixty dollars, but fifty was earmarked to fill my gas tank on the way home from church. I grabbed the ten-dollar bill from my wallet and put it into the offering plate.

Ten dollars might not sound like much, but besides my gas money, it was all the money I had.

I’d stepped out on a limb and trusted God.

The kids and I left church and headed for the gas station. I pumped exactly fifty dollars of gas and then the kids and I went inside to pay. (This was in the days before most gas stations implemented the “pay before you pump” policy.)

“Pump four,” I told the clerk behind the counter. I reached for the fifty-dollar bill in my wallet and came away with a ten. But I’d put the ten-dollar bill in the offering plate at church. And then I realized what I’d done. I’d accidentally put my gas money in the offering plate.

And what was I going to do now? The gas was already in my tank, and I had no way to pay for it.

I’d trusted God with my finances and look where it had gotten me.

I fought tears as I told the clerk, “I don’t have enough money to pay for my gas.”

She looked at me, confused. “Your dad already paid for it.”

“My dad? My dad isn’t with me.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Is he your husband?” She shrugged, embarrassed. “He just looks a lot older than you.”

“There’s no one with me. Just my kids and me.”

The clerk’s confusion grew. “A man came in and paid for your gas. He handed me fifty dollars and said it was for pump number four.”

I ran outside to thank the man, but there was no one around. I went back in and asked the clerk what the man looked like.

“Oh, just a nice older man,” she said. “He was pretty ordinary-looking, nothing special about him.”

“He might have looked ordinary, but he was definitely special,” I said. “He performed a miracle for me.”

The clerk looked skeptical. “By paying for your gas?”

“No,” I said tearfully, “by teaching me that God is worth trusting.”

~Diane Stark

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