My husband and I were privy to the financial hardship plaguing a couple we knew. Recalling our own circumstances, our hearts went out to them. So we made a decision to help. They were in great financial need, so whatever help we gave them, it was unlikely to be paid back by the couple. With that in mind, my husband still decided to assist them financially. “When you have done this to the least of them you have done it to God and he rewards eternally.” I chipped in as well by sacrificing my time and legal services to their cause, although I had little time to give. Though I was challenged by my time availability, I had to remind myself to put others first and that my time did not belong to me, but that it was the Lord’s. As I agreed with the Lord to serve them, instead of the problem getting better, the couple’s situation worsened and consumed even more of my time. I was beginning to feel a little antsy because I still had to meet my obligations to my husband and nine children. Reminding myself again of whose I am, I settled in to the work at hand believing that everything would be okay, including my family.
Time was running out for the couple, and I had not been able to overcome the sundry obstacles that frustrated my efforts to help them. I began to wonder if I had misheard the Lord. I found myself struggling because I realized that I had been functioning outside of my character. Normally, I would give my battles over to God, but I had been convinced that God had called my husband and me to help this couple. So, I stayed on the boat despite the adverse circumstances.
As the couple’s deadline approached, panic set in for all of us. Would God deliver them from the mess they were in? I had pulled out all of the arsenal that I had. I had made all the persuasive arguments that I could make. I had fully disclosed the couple’s issues to those who could make a difference in hopes that something I said would tug on their hearts. Still nothing. I began to feel some of those old unbelieving thoughts rise up in my mind. The temptation to give up was real and imminent but I knew what God had done for me on numerous other occasions. I would have to hang in there until the end if I were to see the hand of God. So, I moved forward in spite of everything that I was feeling.
I was at the building department speaking on behalf of the couple when I was informed by the building official that he would not be able to assist the couple because I did not have proper documentation. But that day I was like Jacob; I was not going to let him go until he blessed me. So I went “toe to toe” with him until he relented and said that he would speak to his boss for clarification. As I waited for an answer from the director, a Caucasian gentleman, who had overhead the conversation, approached me and asked me what that conversation had been about. I explained to him my situation and he told me that the building official was known to be a man who operated strictly by the book. He closed by saying that he would pray for me. His sincerity resonated with me and I responded promptly with a thank you. From the corner of my eye, I watched the gentleman as he waited for the elevator door to open. About fifteen minutes later the city official returned. He did make one concession in our favor but deferred making a final decision until the next day. At this juncture, I was sensing that God was beginning to work. As the official left, the Caucasian gentleman reappeared. It seemed to me that he had waited to see the outcome. He handed me his business card and said that if I needed him, he might be able to help me.
The next day the official did not grant my request but promised to expedite my request once I complied with the rules. This was good news but it now required my husband to expend more money on behalf of the couple. Surprisingly, my husband did not hesitate because he knew the grave predicament that the couple would be facing in the approaching days. My husband immediately went to work on the problem, only to later find out that he would be expending even more money —hundreds of dollars more. That was not good for the pocketbook, at least not ours.
I then reminded my husband about the gentleman who was willing to help at the building department. However, we were both skeptical about taking the word of a stranger. Would this man take advantage of us? Would he give us one price and then later give another? Would his offer be too good to be true? Was he a Christian or fronting for ‘filthy lucre’? Nevertheless, I retrieved his business card and made the call. He indeed was willing to help but he had to employ the assistance of his partner. Was this trouble? Nonetheless, I met him the next day to give him the requested documents. Surprisingly, the next morning he returned the signed document, without request, to my house. This was a bit eerie! He later called stating that additional work was necessary. We needed to get the job done so asking for the cost would not serve us. Besides, he was always non-committal about the cost of his services. The work was completed with dispatch. The building official lived up to his word and walked everything through. Wow! God had met my deadline AGAIN and the couple was in amazement to see God turn their dire circumstances around! However, the story does not end there. When I called the gentleman to thank him and to find out what our final bill was, he replied, “It’s no charge.” My husband received all his money back from the couple within a short period of time! Hallelujah! Won’t God do it if we only take action towards the request? Ask whatever you will, and it shall be given.