My mind went back today to early 2009 when things were really tight financially while living on St. Maarten. I was not working and the kids needed everything, least of all food. There was a young woman who I’d helped the year before who gave birth to a son she didn’t even know she was carrying until it was almost time for delivery. She called me one Saturday morning needing pampers for her baby and bread.
I only had US$10 to my name and wasn’t sure when I would have anymore. I told her I couldn’t help but as I hung up the phone, my conscience convicted me that I did have enough to help. I debated my own shopping list and the truth was I needed way more than $10 to feed the kids for the week ahead.
If you’ve been following my story then you know during this time I’d been living with my ex-husband as I was homeless and not working. That last $10 was the remains of what he’d left with me before he went away on a trip. I was terrified of him coming back and finding out I’d given away the money. Giving money was always one of the things he and I never saw eye to eye on but it was a principle I knew as a child and I grew up practicing it as a way to keep my blessing flow open.
Before too long, I called her back to say I would be at her place in half an hour. On my way over I bought a small pack of pampers and the bread. She thanked me profusely and I was happy that I had listened. The question still remained how would I take care of my own grocery list. I did what I always do when I am in a jam, I pray and then think of solutions. I scraped the car ashtray, the coin cup and the chairs and the jeans..there was no cash. I made the kids some crazy meal with whatever was in the cupboards and they were satisfied. I was going to make do with what I had until an answer came.
I have found that as you do your best and rest in God’s love and provision for you that the answers come. It had to come. God cannot fail and He doesn’t fail me. A few hours later I was off to the grocery store with cash in hand. My ex had returned early from his trip and gave me cash without me having to ask for it. God always covers me 😉
Why am I telling you this? Because you may be so caught up in your own issues and all that you need, so you can not see that you have more than enough to help someone else. It may be that you need $5000 but the $50 in your pocket can help someone put groceries on their table or buy a needed medication. You may be looking for work but in the meantime you can volunteer in a friend’s business they’ve just started or at a community soup kitchen. We always have something that can be shared with others. Don’t underestimate the value of your kind words or a phone call. Don’t you dare believe that your needs far outweigh everyone else and there is no time to look out for others. No one has to know it was your last bit of cash you gave them. No one needs to know that you have needs too. Often the people who need us and ask for our help are clueless as to our own need which often mirrors theirs. I don’t know why God always asks you to do for someone else the same thing you need for yourself. He is funny like that but He is always intentional. Becoming the solution for someone’s problems plants a seed that will grow in yours.
I hope you can find a way today to be the solution that others are waiting for.
For a biblical perspective on this, read the story of Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath.