First of all, as I start with my story, I think it’s important that you know, my mom’s life revolves around money. Usually other people’s money. She is an accountant. When my older brother got his first job, she shared with us all the importance of tithing, of giving 10% of our income to the church. She shared with us from Malachi, and pointed out that this was the only time God said to test him with something in the whole Bible.
So when I got my first job, I started tithing…and it wasn’t easy. No matter how old you are, it is hard to get started. Money isn’t just money. It’s control over your future. Its countless possibilities. The truth is there is something that money can do when it is in my hands, even if it does none of them.
Right after Nick and I got married, we moved to Mississippi to serve a church plant. 7 months after we arrived, the lay leader called the District Superintendent and officially closed the church. I was 6 months pregnant, and ready to move back home. Talk about no control and no future. That night, I woke up at 3 am unable to sleep and thinking about how much we had trusted God with. Half asleep, I found the day’s pile of mail on the kitchen table. There was a letter from my home church that said how much they believed in our call to ministry and a check for $1000. Along with that, the closing church gave us what was left in their account to get us home to Indiana.
When our life was out of control, God passed the test.
|Our last picture with Schira.|
When we got back on Monday, Nick was fired. That Thursday, Nick’s dad called us, to tell us that Nick’s mother, Schira had died. After a week of sleeping on Carlos’s floor, and then a week up to bury Schira in Michigan, we came home to another surprise. Our power had been out, and everything in the freezer and frig was gone. Our credit cards were maxed. Our savings was gone. Our checking was gone. And we had hardly anything left in our house to eat.
Even though we had hardly made anything for five months, we had tithed faithfully, 10% every paycheck. Now tithing was easy: 10% of $0, is $0.
All we had left was this promise: “10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need"
That week, our frig, freezer, and cupboards were filled up by a Christian. Even more miraculous, after 8 months of silence, we received a call from a UMC District Superintendent the following week. Within 2 weeks we were serving a church…and had income again.
Giving to God has built more faith within me than anything else I have done. More than any part of seminary, more than any mission trip, more than anything. If you feel there is something missing in your faithwalk, I would recommend you check you bank statement.