Our family took a leap of faith this past year, expecting The Lord to provide our financial commitment to our Church through our tithe. It was an interesting year to say the least.
Lee’s travels took him all over the continental US, while I labored here at home through the merger of my former employer of 25 years, with another financial institution on April 1, 2013. I witnessed many of my colleagues lose their jobs and others move on to new opportunities.
I was blessed to keep my job but the former management liaison role I held was given to the counter-party within the newly merged firm. I lost substantial bonus income with that change but gained a new position which moved me into the sales force. The new position required me to give up my base salary and work on straight commission.
My payroll dates were also changed during the restructuring of both companies; formerly being paid on “Trade Date” with my old employer, to not getting paid until “Settlement Date” with the new firm. I will explain below why I mention this fact.
I work with a sales team partnership that trades “Forward” settling mortgage securities, where trades done today, may not settle with the client for 90 days out. In the course of that payroll restructuring and the time it took for all the former trades where I had been compensated “on trade date” on the old platform, to roll off, so my payroll dates would align with the new platform would take about 120 days. Thus, I did not receive a paycheck for almost 4 months, though I worked every day! And like most families, we are a two income family and needed both incomes to meet our household expenses.
However, due to our faithful giving to our Church and other charities the previous year, our income tax return received on April 21, 2013 was more than enough to carry us through that 4 month period, until the payroll platform began a normal pay schedule for me again in September 2013.
The income tax return allowed for us to continue our tithe, meet our household budget, to keep our son in College and we never had to dip into our savings and still had money left over for entertainment! Praise God!
Now our CPA would tell you that it is best to try to manage your finances so your tax is flat at the end of the year and we might agree from a business standpoint. But…we truly believe that because our hearts were open to giving and because we had been faithful stewards with the income The Lord had entrusted to us in times past, that The Lord covered us in our time of need through that specific tax return!
As believer’s, we know that the area of our finances is the only area of the Bible where The Lord tells us to test Him!
New Living Translation (NLT)
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!
Our God is so good! He continues to provide and it was with cheerful hearts that we were able to fulfill the total financial commitment we made to our Church by the end the year in 2013!
We get so much joy out of little opportunities that the Lord lays on our hearts too, like picking up the lunch tab for a stranger, tipping the grocery boy that helps take groceries to your car, putting an extra $20 bill in the Salvation Army kettle. Helping family and friends in times of need provides an almost indescribable gift to us in return. It warms our hearts in such a way that we long to experience it over and over and over again!
I challenge you today to find opportunities to give. Your heart will brim over and you will not be able to contain the blessing you will receive in return!
Proverbs 3:9-10 (NIV))
Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the first fruits of all your crops;
then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.