I would suppose one of the hardest things to do in life is nothing at all. Tough lesson to say the least even at my age.
But even with that said, I have to look back at several times in my life I reached a breaking point and gave up and God stepped in and took over. I used to own The ReCycle Shop Bicycle Repair and Sales store in Richlands back in the early 80’s. I was making as much a go at it as possible. The store had been open for about six months (it was March) and I went on a ministry trip with Pastor Kelley Varner to Rustburg and Lynchburg VA for a week. While I was gone my ex-wife watched the business. One evening I called and she said the woman who owned the building had sent workers on the roof to put a new one on. I thought that was okay, except when I got back they had not put a new roof on and it had begun to rain. It rained solid for two or three days and I stood in the business the second day back after the trip with water dripping on me and I was standing in water a quarter inch deep on the floor. I was devastated. I cried when I called my ex-wife and said I was closing the store and giving up. I couldn’t do it any longer.
What happened next was when God stepped in. Almost as soon as I hung up a friend of mine called me. He had a business a couple of blocks away. He came over and helped me squeegee the water off the floor out the door. The Venter’s Insurance office next door offered their back office room at storage for my stock. The Nautilus fitness center down near the Scotchman offered to allow me to store my bicycles in their backroom. That was Gary Canady, who is a land surveyor now. People came out of no where. Another man, Bryant Lewis, came driving up to the store and told me he had a place he’d rent me out on the main highway. It was a newly renovated store space. I was closed a couple of weeks, but we reopened in a new location and seemed like things went on like usual until September and business seemed to completely die. I was at a total loss of what to do and about that time I got a phone call.
It was the owner of the Schwinn dealership in Jacksonville. He wanted me to manage his store part time, but a month after starting he asked me to manage it full time. I said only if he’d buy my store. He wrote me a check to make it short. I worked there for a little over five years. It was probably one of the biggest tests of my life to date for me to work there, but God provided.
Another memorable time was when we were told we had to move. We had bought and paid for a 14×70 mobile home and moved it on a lot in the countryside of Richlands on Cox Road next to Billy and Margie Cox. Ronnie, their son, came to us after five years there and said he was building a brood house for raising doves and was going to house migrant workers next to us in the old home place. So we scoured the area for a new place, but we wanted a new large place to live. We had to sell our mobile home, purchase land and have a modular home build by our specs. I’m trying to shorten this. Well, we found what came to be 2 acres of land for ten thousand and we had Star Homes headed by Sue Simpson and her husband order up the house. It seemed to run on and on. Elmer Futrell was the land owner and he was in a bind to get rid of it and he had been on my doorstep wanting to know when we’d close on this deal. I was about to lose my mind over it. The mobile home had not sold.
I gave up when it looked as though we’d failed to seal the deal and I went to take a nap one afternoon and when I awoke I found two different buyers for the mobile home. I got what I wanted for the mobile home and the construction of the house was finished and we moved in shortly afterward. Giving up let God take over and it fell together like clock work.
I told Libby once that when God acts to be ready. My house on “the loop” was experiencing a large insurance burden because I simply didn’t have a fire hydrant withing a 1000 ft of the house in either direction. It would have meant a huge increase in my house payment I couldn’t afford. Libby had been asking me to look at our present home for some time.
When we looked at our present home on Trott Road it was the right size for us and the price was right, but the agent said someone else was wanting it and she’d been dealing with them for several months. It had a garage. You have to know I have not had a garage in decades and loved the place, so I told the agent in spite of someone else wanting it I would give the seller what they wanted for the house. That was a Saturday. We were to go back the next morning after early church to see the inside of the garage since it was still locked on Saturday when we toured the house.
Well, Saturday evening the agent called and said they would consider us if we were preapproved, so after church the next morning we went to a guy who approved us for the loan and we drove back to view the garage. When we got here the agent said she had the strangest thing happen. The people she’d been dealing with about the house for those several months had backed out. It left us to buy the house without competition.
Monday morning I was led by God to ask Jeff Smith, who owned the property behind me if he wanted to buy my property. He looked at me with unbelief and asked me was I serious. I said yes and to make a long story short, he bought the house with the stipulation we had to be out immediately. Our agent contacted the family that owned the house we wanted and told them we’d like to move in and pay them rent till closing. They agreed, so Tuesday and Wednesday we moved in. So, Saturday, we looked at the house, Sunday were approved without a competitive buyer and sold my house Monday and moved into the new home on Tuesday. It was that quick.
It came by allowing God to move. I was learning a lesson in giving it to God.
Those illustrations are not the only ones I have to share. It’s happened many times. These are just the monumental ones.
This comes to today. Even though I haven’t yet seen a check for my retirement and it’s going on three months I’ve found myself in yet another one of these kinds of situations. When I asked God what to do about it, He said “I got this”. What else can I say? He’s never left me without. I’ve always had a roof over my head, vehicles to drive, money enough to live by. I’ve quit worrying about tomorrow. I enjoy life much more today by doing so.
I hope if you’ve made it so far into this writing you’ve understood this one thing. God is first. Giving yourself to Him first will create an abundance of provision just in time as you need it. It may not be when you “want” it, but it will be there when you “need” it.