Exceedingly & Abundantly

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Throughout my life I have seen God work in amazing ways. I grew up knowing first-hand the miraculous provision of God for His children. As an adult I’ve seen Him do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that I could ever ask or think!  Recently, though, I’ve begun to realize that my experiences are not the norm. When I begin sharing a story from my past (distant or recent) people are amazed. Many people have not experienced God’s provision in the same way that I have. Often I’ve wished that God would give us abundant provisions in our daily lives so that we would not need to rely on miracles…wait…did I just ask for God to take away my need for a miracle? The hard things we go through are…well…hard. But without them we might think that we don’t really need God, His provisions, or His miracles. And we wouldn’t get to experience stories like the one I’m about to tell you:

When I was a young teen, about 14 years old, our family was experiencing some financial troubles. My dad had quit his fairly well-paying job at a local warehouse in order to become a teacher at a Christian school, and my mom had not been able to work for several months because of health issues.  With three girls in the family, ages 10, 12 & 14, money was tight. My parents did not hide our situation from my sisters and I. We understood the state of our finances, at least in general, and it caused us to not ask for unnecessary things. Plus it was an opportunity for us to learn to pray and to trust God even in our youth.

The holidays drew near and things were tighter than ever with the extra expenses that come along that time of year. The Christian school that we attended (and where my parents worked & ministered) decided to hold a canned food drive for a needy family. I remember coming home with a note encouraging all the students to bring in a non-perishable food item and worrying that I would not be able to bring anything. It was time to get creative! So we pulled the couch cushions out, looked through the laundry baskets, dug around under the seats in the car and found enough change to buy 3 boxes of  macaroni & cheese (you know, the kind that they used to sell 3/$1). Praise the Lord for His provision!

Later that same week I was doing something in the kitchen when I saw our school’s principal pull into the driveway. My daddy went out to meet him, and I went into full-blown panic mode. Where I grew up, if someone stopped by your house near supper time it was good manners to invite them to stay and share the meal with you. However, since Mama was still recovering from a recent surgery and I was in charge of groceries & cooking, I knew there was not any food in the house. I didn’t even know what we were going to have for supper, much less what we would serve a guest. But I should not have worried…because our principal was only there to make a quick delivery: a truck-load of food!!!

The canned food drive had been for us! Bag after bag of groceries was unloaded from his truck and into our kitchen! Our cabinets were completely filled until the abundance spilled out over the counters, the table, and on to the floor! There was even a box of money that the teachers had donated which was enough to meet all our needs with some left over! As my family stood in awe at the wonderful blessing that filled our kitchen we noticed our 3 little boxes of mac & cheese sitting on the table. At that moment I truly understood what God was saying in Luke 6:38:

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.”

This Thanksgiving no matter what your financial situation give “according to what you have, not what you don’t have.” (2 Cor. 8:12) Then sit back and watch what God can do! He is always faithful to provide!

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4 Comments

  1. shelly johns
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Beautiful Stephanie! What a way to continue looking toward Thanksgiving Day—and a thankful attitude all year long. Blessings.

  2. Dianne Pittmon
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Stephanie, this is beautiful. A real tribute to your parents and look how this paid off. You are so special!

  3. Posted November 23, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing Stephanie!

  4. Sara Schroader
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    How wonderful that you learned early about God’s provision! Great testimony!

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