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Paul Schmehl @PaulSchmehl
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Normally I do a Bible talk every Saturday evening. A lot of people seem to look forward to that. Well now I’m going to throw you a curb. I’m so excited about talking about this that I can’t wait until Saturday. And I’m convinced God doesn’t want me to. So here goes.
I’m going to do this in several threads, because the story is that big. This is a story about how I learned to walk with God. I believe my example will help others to understand better what I talked about last Saturday - living for God. But the story has several parts.
You see, God didn’t just teach me one thing during this time. He taught me several things. Each of these things is important to understand, and each stands on its own merits. First, the basics.
My wife and I were involved in a Christian training program. As a part of this program, we had to travel from Northern Indiana to Eastern New Mexico and then back again. We had to do this by hitchhiking, and we had exactly 96 hours to arrive at our destination.
At the end of the program, we had to return to our departure point, and we had 96 hours to get there. If we missed the deadline, we failed the course.
One of the requirements of the course was that we would each be given $15 before leaving. When we returned, we had to return the $15. It was entirely up to us how we stewarded our money. We could hide it, as some couples chose to do.
Or we could spend it and trust God to replace it. We chose the latter course. After discussing it, we decided that if God wasn’t big enough to replace any money we spent, then he wasn’t big enough for us to believe in him. So, we set out on our journey, filled with anticipation.
We were about to find out if God was as big as we believed he was. As big as the Bible says he is. We were dropped off on the side of the Interstate, in Northern Indiana. We had 96 hours to get to Tinnie, NM. We would spend a week mountain climbing and hiking.
Then we would have 96 hours to return home. We left with $30 between us. Our first ride took us from our drop-off point to Indianapolis. Along the way, his car broke down. I fixed it by installing a temporary electric fuel pump. He bought us supper.
Early the next morning, we caught a ride from Indianapolis to a truck stop 70 miles west of there. It was cold, and we were hungry, so we bought breakfast and hot coffee and warmed ourselves before getting back on the road. Our next ride took us from Indianapolis to Roswell, NM.
Roswell is 45 minutes east of Tinnie, literally an intersection on a small highway with nothing but a general store/US Post Office/one pump gas station/general store there. When we arrived in Tinnie, we had a couple of hours before we would be picked up and taken to the camp.
So, we bought sodas and candy bars to tide us over. After arriving at the camp, we settled in and then went to the store and bought t-shirts with the name of the camp: L.E.A.D. (Leadership, Education, Adventure, Direction) Notice that we have not once counted our money.
We figured if God was real, he would take care of that. After our week at the camp, we started back to Indiana. We caught a short ride and then spent a couple of hours in the jail in Hereford, TX. The deputy said we looked like we were freezing (we were), so he took us to jail.
There, he gave us blankets and piping hot coffee and told us we were welcome to spend the night if we wanted to. (My wife said, I’m not telling my friends I spent the night in jail in Hereford, TX.) After warming up, we got back on the road and ended up in Canyon, TX.
We went to a McDonalds for breakfast, and some nice elderly ladies bought us breakfast. Then we called a friend who lived in Amarillo, and she picked us up and took us to her house. Before we left, she gave us a bag of fruit and nuts. Buried in the bottom was a $20 bill.
She took us to the Interstate and dropped us off at an entrance ramp. There we caught a ride with a trucker going to Cincinnati, OH. Along the way, we bought him lunch. Later in the day, his refrigeration unit broke down, so we had to go to a repair shop to get it fixed.
While waiting for the repairs we talked, and he told us he had to pick up a load of Butterball Turkeys to deliver to Cincinnati. He asked us where we were headed, and he said he could get us to Indianapolis. After the reefer was fixed, we went to pick up the turkeys.
When he backed up to the dock, the warehouse guy asked him where he pallets were. He said he didn’t have any. The worker said, Then you’ll have to load the truck by hand. He said, Look at me. (He appeared to be in his sixties.) Do you think I can load 80,000 lbs of turkeys?
The worker said, I can give you one helper. The trucker turned to me and said, You wanna earn some money? I said, Sure. So he paid me $25 to help the other guy load the turkeys in his truck. After we were done, he was so grateful, he said, I’ll take you all the way to your place.
We arrived about 3 hours before the deadline. We reported in, got our money out and returned the $30. We had $7.10 left over. I looked at my wife and said, I wonder what this money is for? Then I asked the receptionist if everyone had returned.
She said, Yes, but one couple was short on their money. I asked her how much they were short. She said she didn’t know but they were in town trying to earn the rest. I told her to call me when they returned. About thirty minutes before the deadline, the phone rang.
When I answered, the receptions said, They’re back. I said, Did they get their money? She said, No, they’re short. I asked how much they needed and she said $7.10. I said I’ll be down in a minute. I’ve got their money.
This was only one of the lessons God taught me on that trip. If God takes care of the lilies of the field and the birds in the air…well, you know the rest. God was so good that he took our faith in him and used it to benefit another couple. But here’s the catch.
If THEY hadn’t believed, God never would have given me that $7.10. You see, HOW God answers your prayer is not your concern. He WILL answer. You just have to be prepared to receive it in whatever form he gives it. NEVER underestimate God.
He created the world. How tough could your problem be for him?
Tomorrow night I’ll tell you about my mountain climbing experience. It was one of the most awesome experiences I’ve ever had. It still amazes me today. What I want you to do is spend the next 24 hours thinking about how God can work in your life to solve ANY problem you have.
If he can supply my “need” in an abundance of $7.10 MORE than what I needed, because he knows someone ELSE needs it, what can he do for you? There is NOTHING too hard for God. His only limit is YOU.
Tomorrow night, the negative overhang.
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