I am a pastor’s child and now a pastor’s wife. I laughingly say we have never had money. There have been times that were leaner than others. The year I turned 8 years old was definitely a lean time. Dad had moved our family to New Orleans, Louisiana, to go to seminary and neither he nor my mom had a job. Dad would preach in different churches from time to time, but there was no regular income coming in, and we lived by faith that God would provide.
Christmas came that year and my parents poured out their requests to the Lord. We knew that there would be few gifts, but when I woke up Christmas morning there were two gifts for me under the tree. One was a Raggedy Ann doll with bright red hair, striped red and white legs, a flowered dress and black button eyes. The other gift was a black and white plush teddy bear. I loved both of my gifts and slept with them nightly on my bed. They became my sounding board when I was sad or hurt. They were my playmates when I was feeling alone. God taught me through these gifts that He had heard my parents’ prayers and He had provided for us. Phil. 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” A doll and bear may not seem like great needs, but for a young child they were.
When I became a young woman, God called my husband to preach. We too moved to New Orleans and I lived right across the street from where I had lived as a child. Times were difficult for us during those days as we too struggled being young parents, trying to make ends meet financially and pastor a small church on the weekends. When I would get discouraged, I would recall that Christmas so long ago when God had supplied. I often quoted Phil. 4:19 confident that God would indeed supply once again.
I am now 48 and the only things I have from my childhood are two toys, the doll and bear from that long ago Christmas. I think God wanted to preserve them for me so that I would have tangible evidence of His provision and a visual reminder that He can and will provide if we will only trust.
Are there things in your life that God has kept there to remind you of His provision for you? Thank Him once again for His faithfulness. Take time to share with your family or a friend how God brought you through your own difficult time and how He continues to give you peace. In this season when money can be tight, many need to know about a God who doesn’t give us all we want, but does provide everything we need.