Pride and Provision
By Ruth Kastberg
It was Sunday morning and I was excited. Monday would be the beginning
of a new chapter in my life. Our church had a one-year program called
Training Bible School. When people asked me what that meant, I used
to joke saying we go jogging with the Bible under our arms. Actually
it was a combination of Bible school and street
evangelism. I had felt God directing me to join the program, and tomorrow
would be my first day.
I thanked God for a new day, and I prayed that He would provide the
$20 I needed to buy a one-month pass for the subway. I lived with my
parents, and they provided all I needed. So right or wrong, I put a
little condition in my prayer. I said, "Lord, Mom and Dad have been
so good to me. Please, let the money for the pass come some other way.
They have done so much for me already."
I jumped out of bed and got ready for church. I forgot all about my
Later that day, we went back to church for the evening service. After
the meeting, people gathered talking and laughing in small circles in
front of the church. I was in one of them with some of my friends when
I felt someone putting something in my pocket. I turned around and saw
my friend Rose-Marie walking back to her little circle. I stuck my hand
in my pocket and pulled up what I thought might be a note. Instead,
I pulled out a twenty-dollar bill for all around me to see. I
was shocked and very embarrassed.
My pride had kicked in. I walked over and pulled Rose-Marie aside.
I said, "Why did you give me the money? I don't need any money!"
She looked me straight in the eye and said firmly, "If God told me
you need it, I know you need it. Don’t cheat me out of the blessing
of doing what He wants me to do."
I was quiet for a little while and a tear started rolling down my cheek.
I gave her a big hug and apologized for not being truthful. I told her
about my prayer that morning and her face broke into a radiant smile.
"See? God is so good. He's blessing me by blessing you."
What was I thinking? That the money was going to fall down from heaven?
I have heard of that happening, but it is a rare thing. Most of the
time He uses people like Rose-Marie, who are sensitive to His voice
and willing to serve. My pride had almost robbed me of the blessing
of an answered prayer.
I learned something that evening. If you ask God to provide for you,
you have to be willing to open your hand and receive. You have to trust
He knows best and receive His provision in whatever way He chooses to
bring it to you.
"Don't worry whether God will provide it for you. These things dominate
the thoughts of most people, but your Father already knows your needs.
He will give you all you need from day to day if you make the Kingdom
of God your primary concern" (Luke 12:29b-31, NLT).
When I paid for my subway pass Monday morning I felt pure joy. The
new chapter in my life had started with a great little miracle. I could
not wait to see what was ahead of me.
"What's next, Lord? I am ready for whatever you have in store!"
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