I have been telling these stories for a long time and in this time of financial insecurity for so many, I want to tell them again. Sometimes I forget just how obvious this provision was at the time but then telling the story reminds me and I am in awe.
Mike and I got married in February of 2004. He was working a pretty good job but when we got home from our honeymoon, he was called to go to camp for a week. Not a great start to a marriage, especially when you add the fact that I had just moved 1,400 kilometres from home and didn’t really know anyone here. He quit that job about a month later because we knew we didn’t want that lifestyle and then we lived off of our savings for a few months, just enjoying our time together and settling in. That summer, he started looking a little harder for a job as the money had nearly run out. He had a few opportunities but took a cash job on trial at an auto body shop. He did detailing on cars for a short time and eventually moved to prep work. At this time, I was surprised we were not expecting yet (because we were not trying to prevent) and started praying more earnestly for a baby. Right around the time that I would have conceived, he got a “real” job for the company and a simultaneous $4 raise. By a year later, he was making $4 more than that per hour and not only did we have enough to provide for the baby that came in June of 2005, but we had enough to buy a home that summer. The timing of everything was just too perfect to call it coincidence.
In January of 2008, we were expecting our third baby and Mike had moved on to another auto body shop where his Dad worked and was even talking about going to school for some certification in body work. He didn’t exactly love the work but he did like the people he worked with and the company took care of their employees. He had only been there for six months when things slowed down and he got laid off. When I think of the year 2008, I think “recession.” It didn’t hit Canada in exactly the same way but I know many people had a hard time. It was early in the year, though, and all I could think was that we didn’t have any substantial savings, had a mortgage to pay and were about to have three kids, three and under. I was shocked and didn’t know what would happen. Mike started looking for work, applied for EI (unemployment) and we listed our ’85 Honda Accord for sale, hoping that would bring in a bit of cash. Not even two weeks into the layoff, we were sitting down with his sister and her husband for supper and talking about Mike’s need for a job when our brother-in-law told us that the small engineering firm he worked for might have a job but it was unlikely that it would interest Mike at all. He started to explain the job to us and rather than finding it off-putting, Mike was intrigued. He got an interview with the owner of the company and then we went on a trip for a conference that we had already had planned months before. I forget the fine details of when things happened, but we definitely got a call when we were in the Edmonton Ikea that they had a job for him and he could start work by the middle of February. Shortly after, our 23 year old car sold for $1,200 – the exact amount of a two week paycheque at that time. Not only was this job a Godsend in timing, it turned out to be something Mike loved and has continued doing for 12 years now, working through a company buy out and a everyone else in the company leaving over time.
Now, 2020 and the COVID crisis. Early this year, we went over our budget and determined that we had around $600 in excess every month if I kept my spending relatively tight. We had changed the way we budgeted and so we could see where money had been wasted or unaccounted for before. We talked about investments or just putting it into savings but in the end, we needed the extra for a few things in January and February so we didn’t make any final decisions about it. In March, we were told that the company would be implementing a 10% wage reduction due to COVID. It wasn’t long before I determined that the difference in wages for us was almost exactly the amount of extra money in our budget. We had never squirreled it away anywhere and so it was just there, available to make up the difference for us.
We have had countless times when God has provided for our needs – both tangible and otherwise. Sometimes these cases of extra provision have been totally obvious. Other times, we have had to look back and realize how incredible they really were. They have all pointed us to a God who knows what we need and has provided.
“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.“
“For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.”
“And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”