Simply a Woman of Faith – Sample Chapter
CHAPTER 4 BUY IT AND I WILL PROVIDE
How Does God Guide Us
“What a pretty blouse,” my friend Amy said as she touched the silky sleeve of my red blouse.
“Thanks. It’s my God-blouse,” I replied.
I love to tell the story of my God-blouse, a top I bought twenty years ago during a difficult time. My husband had been unemployed for a year, and we had four children under the age of ten. I swallowed my pride and applied for food stamps and welfare.
I will never forget the feeling of humiliation when I stood in line waiting at the welfare office.
God, I’m so embarrassed. I want to disappear. I can’t believe this is happening to us.
I’m at the end of my rope, and you have to do something quick. Haven’t we been through
Even though we struggled a lot during that time and didn’t know where the money was coming from to pay the monthly bills, God always provided. We never went without food or shelter. And we never missed a mortgage payment.
On the day that I bought my God-blouse, I had some time to kill as I waited to pick up the children from school. I’ll just mull around the corner boutique. Even if I don’t have money, I can still window shop, I told myself.
I took my time browsing around the store, looking at all the pretty summer clothes on display. I loved the mini-skirts.
I wish I had money to buy something, God.
I spotted the clearance sale sign in the back of the store and quickly walked over to the clothing rack I had no intention of buying anything, but the blouse jumped out at me. I fell in love with it. The delicate soft pink roses on the collar of the blouse looked pretty and would look great with my black pants.
Wow, it’s only ten dollars, I thought to myself.
I wanted to forget that my husband was out of work and I couldn’t afford it.
You don’t need a blouse Pat; you have plenty of clothes in your closet, my conscience argued. As I reluctantly placed it back on the rack, I heard that small still voice of God say:
BUY IT AND I WILL PROVIDE
I pulled out my wallet to see how much money I had in it. I had a ten dollar bill tucked away in the billfold. And in Massachusetts, clothing was tax free. I had exactly the right money to buy that blouse-no more, no less.
God, did I hear you right? BUY IT AND I WILL PROVIDE Is my imagination running wild? If I spend the money on a blouse, where will I get the money to buy milk and bread on my way home?
I wanted to believe it was God, but could I trust myself? In the past, miracles happened when I listened to God. I prayed quietly to myself and listened. My gut was saying – trust God and buy the blouse.
I picked up the children from school and drove directly home (not saying a word to anyone about my purchase.) I grabbed the mail from the mailbox as I walked in the house, hoping there weren’t any bills.
Nothing important, the usual junk mail, I thought to myself.
What’s this? A letter with no return address on it? Who could this be from?
I quickly opened it, eager to see what was inside. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the crisp new ten-dollar bill tucked inside the note card. As I read the simple, but profound message written in the card, I started to tremble from head to foot.
Oh my God, I shouted as the tears streamed down my cheeks. Who sent this to me? I frantically searched for a name, but there was no name anywhere. Sprawled across the handwritten note was simply,
From the Son of a Carpenter
“Mamma, what’s the matter? Why are you crying?” asked my daughter who heard my sobs from the dining room.
“I’m fine, honey. I’m just happy because God loves us so much.”
In her sweet little voice she asked, “What did God do to make you cry?”
Filled with awe and gratitude, I couldn’t stop laughing and crying at the same time.
God provides, but I didn’t expect it so dramatically and so quickly. I still don’t know who sent the card and money – and probably never will. The person who sent it listened to the small still voice of God and obeyed. Twenty five years later, I still wear my God-blouse and get compliments. It’s always an opportunity to tell the story of God’s magnificent love.
Do you believe God guides you and is interested in your everyday life? I do.
Wouldn’t it be nice to know exactly what to do next? Most of us want a road map,
telling us what to do and where to go. “We expect to be sure of God’s leading. Being sure eliminates the need for faith and God wants our faith muscles to grow. We don’t want to walk by faith; we want certainty! God will not let you be 100% sure. God will guide you, but His guidance is not so explicit or detailed that you don’t have to exercise faith in following it.” (Basham, 1975.) Faith is trusting that God will provide and take care of us, no matter what.
“God directs us by dropping his thoughts into the midst of our own, not by thundering in our ears or striking us with heavenly lighting. God guides us through sending subtle impressions. We can then act on faith on those impressions, trusting they’re from God.” (Basham, 1975.) I try to listen to my intuition and to the wisdom within. I pay attention to what’s going on around me and pray and meditate on a daily basis. I want to be ready when God says to go this way or that way, do this or do that.
I catch myself wanting to know HOW everything is going to work out and I want to know it NOW. My fears come to the surface when I don’t have all the answers right at my finger tips. In the past, I have given up following my dreams because fear gripped me in the pit of my stomach, and I became stuck. I didn’t know how to take it a step at a time, trusting God would give me what I needed at the time, not before.
“God Winks” by Squire Rushnell is a book about how God winks at us. Rushnell says, “A God wink is a message of reassurance coming when you most need it; when you are at a crossroads in your life, and when instability is all around you. It might be said, in fact, coincidences are the best way for God to establish a perpetual presence in your life.” (Rushnell, Atria 2001)
I call them “GODincidences” and “touches from heaven.” God guides us in many ways: through intuition, thoughts and inner wisdom, other people, prayer and meditation and through the bible and spiritual books. God often guides and encourages me through my nightly dreams. Some days I just read or hear something that’s exactly what I need to move on. Sometimes, God speaks through synchronicities, putting me in the right place at the right time. God wants to guide us and will use any means to get our attention.
For me, guidance is like dancing with God. He leads; I follow. The word guidance is God –u and I dance. When we’re both leading, it looks terrible because we’re stepping on each other’s feet. When He’s leading and I’m following, we dance beautifully together. My feet may learn the steps, but it’s my spirit that dances.
Will you join the dance?