BY FAITH: Tithing...for real?
I stood in the kitchen with tears rolling down my cheeks as I listened to a woman on KTIS pleading for support for a ministry that desperately needed to be rescued. I so wanted to write a check on the spot and run it out to mailbox. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Why? Because my husband and I had just made some significant life changes in income. As we added our third child into the family chaos, I had just quit my “corporate” job to work very part-time at our church, for half the pay per hour. At the same time, God had nudged us to “tithe” our giving which was a huge leap of faith since we had only been giving a very small percentage of our income, and always after thinking through what WE would need first to manage our lifestyle. So there I stood….frozen. I remember praying, “God, my heart breaks for these people, but I have NO money right now. Can you please take care of this?”
After I got over my mini cryfest, I went about my busy day. In the afternoon, I ran out to get the mail. One letter caught my attention…it was from the IRS. Wondering just what the IRS would send, I cautiously opened the letter. It was a check for $750 which was for some type of overpayment we had made a few years earlier.
When my husband came home that night, I told him I had some good news and some bad news. So I began, “Well the BAD news is that we made a mistake on our taxes a few years back and they sent us an additional refund. The GOOD news is that this morning I heard that there is an organization that needs help and I prayed that God would somehow give us a way to support them, and here it is!” I’m not sure Joe really agreed with my interpretation of what was GOOD and the BAD news, but thankfully, he saw the connection between my prayer and God’s provision! So off went a check.
This story popped in my memory when Pastor Steve recently challenged our church to tithe with the verse from Malachi:
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:10
I remembered clearly the day several years back when I heard this similar message. Even though we were “regulars” at church, I always half-listened to the tithing sermons since, of course, God understood that we were in no position to tithe since we had so many other commitments. Until that day, when somehow God broke through and I knew that HE was talking to me and that it was time to LISTEN and to ACT. So we did. It was really kind of a no-brainer—we divided up our money one way or another anyway—10% here, 10% there…we might as well be obedient to what God was asking of us. And within a month, the KTIS incident happened.
God took care of that need, but not only that need. He has taken care of every need since that time. He has truly opened the floodgates of heaven to pour out his blessings. Of course, we still mutter the mantra, “money doesn’t grow on trees” with our kids and have unexpected expenses that challenge us, but I can assure you that we have never been hungry, or without clothes or a roof over our head. We’re so grateful for His promises and provision.
#Byfaith #Godisgood #Godprovides #Godtransforms