I Thought I Was Rich!

Recently I received a check in the mail. I opened the envelope, and discovered the amount that was larger than I anticipated. “This is great!” I thought. “Now I have a little extra to shore up my savings.”

I reached for another envelope in the stack of mail. It was from the insurance company. Upon opening, I discovered that, after I deducted income taxes, the premium consumed the entire amount of my perceived surplus. “Bummer! Bummer! BUMMER!” I thought. For thirty seconds, I was richer than I thought. And then within a flash, the money disappeared.

Granted, I had anticipated the insurance bill and had budgeted to pay it. And a cold, hard math problem would reveal that I did have a bit of extra green for my wallet. But I still felt robbed. Then I realized that at least I had the money to pay the bill. Rather than being disappointed by a loss that really wasn’t a loss, I should have been grateful for God’s provision. I took a moment to enjoy His sense of humor (after all, He left me enough for taxes, too) — and His wisdom — in timing my mail so that I got the picture.

Readers of this blog know better than to buy into the myth that all writers have lots of money. Sometimes I have told authors that when they don’t get a contract right away, God works in other ways. Perhaps that old car will keep going another unexpected 50,000 miles. Or a monetary obligation won’t be a great as anticipated. Or the refrigerator won’t conk out — yet. When the contract does materialize, the advance may not be as great as we would like. Yet God provides. And in that sense we have been rich all along.

Your turn:

Where have you seen God’s provision in your life and career?

18 Responses to I Thought I Was Rich!

  1. Tessa November 15, 2012 at 4:51 am #

    Great thoughts Tamela…good reminder to keep things in perspective and that we never know how God works.

    • Lynn Johnston November 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

      It seems that I have numerous blessing by God. As you were saying, God seems to come through for us before we realize how much we need him. In our garden my husband planted beans, yet an unknown squash plant grew in the center of my garden. It proceeded to take over most of the garden space. Before I knew it, dozens of baby squash began growing and continued in a rapid production. I had so much squash that I could give it to friends, family, and donate it. Plus, my freezer in now full of it. What was interesting was that when the beans finally grew, the ones that were protected by the over-sized squash leaves, produced the best beans. The unprotected plants were dried up during the heat wave. After the squash finally died out, the productive bean plants continued to flourish as they became mature plants that survived the heat wave.

  2. Michelle Sutton November 15, 2012 at 5:45 am #

    Hey, the thoughts here were so good I even sent the email I received about the article to my husband. He gets the same way. Great insight, too. I’m glad that I’m not the only one who “gets” that money comes and goes and it’s a good thing my hope isn’t in money. :) Regardless, thanks for the reminder.

  3. Debbie Lynne Costello November 15, 2012 at 5:46 am #

    Back in our earlier years when the kids were all home and it seemed we lived paycheck to paycheck things like that would happen to us on occasion. My husband would get overtime and we would start making plans for it, but when payday came something would happen. A sick child, a blown tire, or some other money eating calamity. I remember we learned early on to be thankful that God had provided ahead of time for the bill and that we didn’t have to wonder or worry where the money was to come from. God is good and makes a way our needs long before we even know the problem is about to fall on us.

  4. Lisa November 15, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    This is a great reminder. My husband is a pastor and I am a writer. We have struggled. We decided to make it a priority to tithe no matter how difficult things became. God seems to have a way of taking care of us, even when its not logical. It’s not always easy to put God first, but it brings hope that He is always in control.

    • Jeanne November 15, 2012 at 8:39 am #

      I have found this to be true, too. I love that He does that. :)

  5. Lindsay Harrel November 15, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    I have never wanted for a necessity, and for that, I’m so grateful.

  6. Jeanne November 15, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    “I thought I was rich for thirty seconds.” I love that. :)

    I have soo lived the ups and downs of money, and I’ve seen God provide in the most unexpected ways. A number of years ago, my husband switched jobs and took a significant pay cut. Even through that, we saw God provide for our needs, even though certain aspects of our budget couldn’t be reduced (I eat gluten free and my son has a number of food allergies=expensive grocery bill). It was humbling to see, how when we trusted God with the job change, He met our needs above and beyond.

  7. Laurie Alice Eakes November 15, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    I was just sharing with some friends this morning how God saved my contracts for when we desperately needed the money. DH was in law school and I had lost my job. We had no income and lots of bills to pay. Then I got contracts like I never expected possible and was able to pay off every bill, every credit card we’d run up just trying to survive. We had enough left over for taxes.

  8. Meghan Carver November 15, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    No book publishing contracts here — yet! — but I have published several short stories, enough to pay my own way to a writers conference and my ACFW membership. As my mother used to say, every little bit counts!

    On a more personal note, we thought we were going to have to replace our 12yo minivan recently. We have six children, so that’s not just another minivan! We were a bit dismayed when we went shopping. But the brilliant assistant of our mechanic found a broken flywheel and we’re good to go with a much smaller bill.

  9. Jennifer Major @Jjumping November 15, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    Well, on a REALLY personal note, God made sure someone brought Gatorade on my recent mission trip, which on 4 trips, I’ve never seen. So that when I was down with dehydration/heat exhaustion/altitude sickness…they could pump half a gallon into me and bring me back from a really iffy edge.

    Our Lord is the King of the little things. Like electrolytes. And oxygen molecules.

    Career wise? My crit partners, blogs like this and the help I’ve found in unusual places all along the way.

  10. Julie Surface Johnson November 15, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    What a lovely and positive post. Every breath I/we take is a gift from above.

    When raising our kids back in the 70′s and 80′s, we often marveled how our single small paycheck was able to stretch so far. It was all a God thing.

  11. Julia Denton November 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Right now I’m in a time of true crisis as my husband was recently diagnosed with cancer that doctors fear has metastasized to his liver (two liver tumors; awaiting biopsy results) and our adult son, born with a rare genetic disorder and multiple disabilities, has been experiencing ever-increasing complications to his cardiac situation (four open heart surgeries during his life and one on the near horizon). When I feel afraid I remember all the times God has seen us through things we didn’t think we could survive. God always provides and I keep reminding myself of that even when it’s hard to feel it in my heart.

  12. angchronicles November 15, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    In May, I did not get the tenure track position, my three year non renewable contract ended, and the bank said no to what I thought was my dream townhouse. I moved into a two bedroom apartment and my paycheck is less than half of my previous earnings. However, the money that I saved for the townhouse has paid off my credit cards, my daughter’s tuition and rent, and my own rent for four months. When I look at my bank account, I thank God that my bills are paid and my debt is minimal. Although my teaching load is less, I have four days a week to work on my writing. And once in a while a small editing or writing assignment graces my email box.

  13. Martha Rogers November 20, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    Great post, Tamela. So often in all these years of marriage, God has provided at just the right time. I’ve found that after taxes and my tithe, there is usually exactly what we need left to take care of a bill, a repair, or a necessity. We simply cannot out give God when we are faithful servants. Thanks for the reminder here at Thanksgiving.

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