In 1970 my wife Dorothy and I went full time into a ministry that could not support us but I felt that it was God's call just the same. We were in that ministry for six years. The first year was the acid test. I prayed and fasted that the Lord would show me His will concerning quitting my job to go "full time," and thought I heard Him say to do so.
I had the attitude that if God was my boss and husband, then He would meet our needs as we were obedient to Him. I went to work for Him and expected my wages to come from Him. These were terms that I could understand at the time and He honored my faith. In the first year, He met all our needs and not only that, He paid off our house and gave us a car. We even had a baby in that year and God paid off that bill, too! Often I would be handed a blank envelope with money in it. I never had to panhandle any of His people for the money, for I believed that this was not living by faith to do so. After all the Word says, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." (Philippians 4:6, NASB). We are to first and foremost make our requests to God and not men. God honored my faith and never let us down. Grant it, at times he came up with the money for a bill at the very last minute, but that just stretched my faith and made it grow. By the end of that year we were totally debt free.
I would like to share a little story that happened during this same time. I was working with a ministry that came out of the Jesus' People movement that swept the nation in the early 70's. We had just bought a diesel bus and were on our maiden voyage with it from Spokane, Washington to Portland, Oregon. Well, we also had a coffee house called the "I AM" in Spokane and the night before the trip to Portland a man came in who needed a place to stay that night and a ride to Portland. We decided to help Frank out with both problems. So after staying overnight in the guys' house, the House of Abraham, with some of the brothers, we loaded up the bus and headed for Portland. We were scheduled to do a gig with our Christian band at a Bible school there.
Frank was not a believer and had not seen his family for years. He was a drifter and was on his way to take a job as a cook at a hotel in Portland. Believe me, he got "witnessed to" a lot on that trip and the night before. As we were going down the Columbia River gorge on the freeway, we had engine troubles and broke down somewhere between nowhere and nowhere. We were stranded with our bus alongside the freeway. A couple of the brothers decided to take off hitch hiking to the nearest town and see if there was a diesel mechanic there. While we were waiting, I decided to check and see if anything obvious was wrong with the engine.
I was standing behind the bus, looking at the engine, not having a clue what I was looking at, when I heard a noise behind me on the freeway. A couple hundred feet behind us was an older lady stopped with a VW camper bus. It was the kind that had a pop-up roof and it was up on one side and down on the other. She was struggling with it trying to get it to come down on both sides. I decided that I was doing us no good, so I went to see if I could help her. She was grateful and I had her problem solved in no time.
This made her curious who we were and when she found out that we were Christians, she got all excited. When I told her that we were broken down she said, "It is almost lunch time. Do you have any food on your bus?" I told her that all we had was a coffee pot and a Coleman cook stove. She started to load me up with food from her camper. It turned out that she was a traveling evangelist and the last church she ministered to didn't have money to give her so they gave her a bunch of groceries. She wanted to share that with us. She had all the fixings for a lunch for the twelve of us and some left over (not twelve basketsful, but close). She even gave us a Danish ham.
In the meantime on our bus, oblivious to what was going on out back, one of the brothers named Gary said to our leader, "Carl, you know how you have always told us that if we were in God's will, we would never miss a meal? Well, it is almost noon and we are broke down and have no food. Do you suppose that we missed God somewhere?" Carl said, "We will just have to see. It is not past lunch time, yet."
Just about then, I came climbing on board the bus with an arm load of food. All mouths were hanging open! They all said, "Where did you get all that food?" I told them, and said I had to go get another load and would. On the second trip the lady even gave us a pot to heat the beans in, and paper plates and forks. She told me to come back for one more item.
When I went back she gave me a cake from a bakery that she bought that morning, not knowing why. It said "Happy Birthday" on it. She said, "One of you must be having a birthday today and that is why God told me to buy it." I thanked her and she went on her way.
When I took the cake to the bus, I climbed on board and said, "Okay you guys. God just gave us a birthday cake. Which one of you has a birthday today?" We all looked at one another and it was none of us. Then Jimmy in the back sitting next to our rider, Frank, sings out, "Hey, it's Frank's birthday!" I took the cake back and sat it in Frank's lap. He was in shock. He said, "I don't understand how you knew that today is my birthday. The only one that knows my birthday is today is my mother and she lives in Maryland and hasn't heard from me in years." I said, "Well, Frank, Jesus knows and He loves you and here is your birthday cake from Him. Happy birthday, Frank!"
We all sang "Happy Birthday" to him. He was fighting back the tears and said that he couldn't stay there any longer and had to start off for Portland again. He was blitzed! He got off the bus, still in shock, and started hitch hiking down the freeway. He got a ride from about the next car to come along, and I wouldn't be surprised if that driver was a Christian!
I realize that this was a rather long story and I hope that you were able to bear with me. I just wanted you to know that God is able to provide your every need from His riches in glory in Christ Jesus...even a birthday cake.to top