Lessons in Faith
The phrase my mom often uses to express God’s unexplainable financial provision is “God Math.” I grew up hearing my parents tell stories of “God Math,” and now I am experiencing this same provision firsthand.
Recently, as Karys and I were looking over our budget, we noticed we had not given away the funds we had set aside for tithing. We sat down and started to explore what people or ministries God wanted us to help with his money. Initially, this process was exciting. However, when we began writing checks, it became more difficult to let go of the funds. We are extremely blessed to have everything we need, but as college students preparing to go on an overseas internship, the prospect of giving away a large sum of money was difficult.
After we finished giving back to God, I went to check the mailbox. Upon opening the mail, we found five support letters. The generous gifts contained in these letters more than doubled the amount of money we had just given away. God’s promise in Malachi 3:10 came to mind: “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.” I immediately regretted my hesitant attitude. “God Math” reminded me that it is truly impossible to out-give God.
The next day God continued to instruct me in this matter as I read Isaiah 12:4. “In that day you will say: ‘Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.’” I am overjoyed to be able to apply this verse by sharing all that God is doing for Karys and me as we prepare for this upcoming internship in Indonesia. To him be glory both now and forever (2 Peter 3:18)!
As we prepared for our internship in Indonesia, I encountered several challenges which became a test of trust for me. My excitement for the adventure ahead was being drowned in tedious details like unsuccessful attempts to create a prayer card and difficulties with insurance. On one such occasion, we had been struggling for three days to fill in the information needed for our visa application. My anxiety was growing exponentially with every hour of delay. I didn’t want to undo all our previous victories by submitting our visa application incorrectly or late. That’s when Daniel confronted my anxiety as a demonstration of my lack of trust. As I reflected on what he said, God reminded me of our stories of his provision. From the beginning, we had ideas about Daniel’s internship but no concrete plans or contacts. Then God provided the answer. After a time of intense prayer, we received an email that linked us to JAARS. More emails followed, connections developed, and doors opened for us to work with YAJASI in Indonesia.
Even with all of our challenges so far, God had always come through. I could almost hear him asking me, “Do you think after all this that I will allow paperwork to thwart my plan for you?” Ashamed of my forgetfulness, I resolved to trust God to provide the visas in his timing. Then I turned back to the application. Only after I prayed did God allow me to see the answers to the remaining questions I had! A week after mailing in our paperwork, we received a package in the mail with visas inside. God proved his faithfulness once again.