A couple of years ago we hosted a couple of wonderful little Japanese girls for a month and had a great time doing it; not only that, but we shared the gospel with them and it appeared that it was during their time here that they accepted God's truth, though the couple who brought them here had also shared it with them in times past. Well, the group is coming again (not our little friends; they have gone their own way somewhere); this time we're going to host three more of them (Lord willing)! So we had to start thinking about their guest room, which has become a storage room in the meantime. One of the mattresses had been transferred up to Tim's room, so we were down one bed. Well, last time, we were low one bed too, and our friends the Browns told us they had a mattress--and lo and behold, it was a very nice one. That worked out just great for the girls, but this year, we had to add two more beds.
Well, if you know us well at all, you know that we find garage sales to be a wonderful way that God provides for our needs affordably. This is important with all the job changes my husband has seen in his career (long story); right now he's been between jobs almost six months--come to think of it, the time before, he was between jobs also! So last week we were out at garage sales just three blocks up the street (counting our whole cul-de-sac as one block), and we saw a very sturdy bunk bed that would hold a twin mattress on the top; there was already a double mattress included on the bottom, in nice shape. Wow!
Only thing was, there was already a woman there who was working hard to get the owner to come down in price. So Katie and I watched quietly and listened. The woman was adamant that it wasn't worth the amount that the man was asking. He didn't like her manner and wasn't going to budge; she said $140 was too much. Finally he said, "Well, if you come back later and it's still here, we can talk price." She left.
About 4 minutes later, I asked him, "How much did you say the bunk bed was?" He said, "I'll let it go for $100. It was more than $500 new." Was that not a good deal! He agreed to a check, and as I started to write it out, he said, "Oh, just make it $90, and that includes the sweater." (The sweater I was planning to buy and had over my arm.) He disassembled the bed and helped me put most of it in the van. There were a few pieces that wouldn't go in because of size. He offered to help us home with it. I told him that was all right, stay at the sale, I'd get my husband and we'd walk home with it. When we returned for the remaining parts, he actually thanked us with sincerity as if we were doing him a favor by buying it. What a wonder! Is God not great?! Even to place it within walking distance of our house. Now we are pretty well prepared for our little girls to come. Maybe garage sale skeptics will see the merit in them after all; if not, that's fine, there's all the more for me! (Ha!) And above that, I find this a great, amazing and somewhat amusing illustration of how God provides for our every need.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written,
"HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER."
Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 2 Corinthians 9:8-12