The God Kind of Math
“Yep, it was probably a satanist!”
That’s what I thought and said to myself when I saw the slashed sidewall of our back tire on our Honda Accord.
It had been slashed while parked in the apartment parking lot where we lived in north San Diego county. The year was 1989. Donna, my wife, and our soon-to-be-born first son, Caleb, and I had packed everything we owned to move to this small southern California town to be youth pastors and to be a part of watching God touch young lives with the message of Jesus.
The church that we ministered in couldn’t afford to pay us a full salary at that time. So, I worked a full-time job and another part-time job to make ends barely meet. Because funds were always short, my solution was to “rob Peter to pay Paul”. I decided to take what was needed out of the rent money we had banked and then believe that God would come up with the difference when it was needed.
The tire replacement was a whopping $62.57.
I went to work and after a long hard day, came home to eat supper and relax with Donna and Caleb. We had just finished eating when there was a knock at the door. It was one of the youth and she seemed to be a bit shaken. We asked her in, she sat down and began to tell us what she been experiencing since about 7 that morning.
She said that she had been praying and she felt like God had asked to her to do something. But to her it seemed to be an odd request. She felt like God had told her to give us $62.57! That’s when she handed us a plain white envelope and inside was cash and coin. Indeed, there was $62.57! She exclaimed after handing us the package, “I don’t understand the random amount but I want to be obedient to what GOD is asking me to do.”
It was at that moment that both Donna and I burst out with “WOW!! Amazing! Praise God! and other words and phrases of excitement. Then it was our turn! We shared with her what had happened to us earlier that morning and that the cost of the tire at $62.57, she began to laugh and cry at the same time.
It was quite an event to behold. I can still see it in my minds eye. We hugged and laughed and cried together and she left thinking about what had just happened: she had heard God and stepped out in faith with the instruction that he had given her. The icing on the cake was that our needs and prayers had been answered. BOOM!
This story makes me smile now. But back then it was an invaluable lesson for me of God’s faithfulness of who He is and who we are to Him.
Fast-forward to 2018. After losing my mother to breast cancer, we decided to sell our house and my Dad’s home and buy a suitable house for all of us to live in. Large enough for all 5 of us to have our space, but also small enough to be able to be with Dad, who is 81 and lonely after Mother’s passing. We want to be close to him during this difficult transition in all our lives and to take care of him in the future if his health declines.
After finding a home that checks off what we need as well as nearly all of the things that we want in our dream home, we received our Pre-Qualification letter for a loan to make an offer! I will admit that trying to sell 2 homes and buy a single home at the same time has been an emotional Whirling Dervish for me.
One minute-faith and excitement at finding the best house for the right price; the next minute fear and doubt! What if we can’t sell the other two houses in time? Even if we pool all our finances we cannot afford paying three mortgages at once!?! What if the seller’s counter offer is higher than what we can afford and we have to start all over?!
2 Timothy 2 says, “When we are faithless, He is faithful.” That scripture, recalling God’s faithfulness in the tire story from years ago and our amazing friends, who have spoken words of wisdom and encouragement to us, has pulled me out of a downward spiral several times during this process. It hasn’t been a flawless and perfect journey, but it has been a God filled journey.
Through encouragement from God’s word and friends who believe in us and are unwilling to allow us to fall prey to our imaginations and fears, but reminded us to remember what God’s word says to us and how much we mean to Him. Our offer on the new home was accepted! We received two offers on the homes we were selling -both above what we had been willing to settle for! Enough to pay off both previous mortgage balances and put more towards our new mortgage and enough besides to pay off some credit card debt!
When it is all said and done, we will have an amazing new home that is three times the size of our present home, with four times the land and our payment will be half of what we are paying now for our one home!
Don’t you just love the God kind of math? Whether it is a tire for $62.57 (or more the recent price of $154.00!) or a mortgage payment just remember-GOD IS FAITHFUL!