This article follows on from ‘Negative interest rates’ to glorify God as our provider.
I could have told you about holidays, clothes, cars, guitars etc but I’ll tell you how God gave us a house, the home we still live in today.
When we first went into full time ministry, David gave up his job in management in British Steel and because we now had no income, we sold the house we were buying in South Wales.
Jesus says, ‘ I tell you the truth, no one who has left home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children or fields for me and the gospel, will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age and in the age to come eternal life.’ Mark 10.29-30.
When we returned to the UK after 10 years in Gibraltar, we saw Gods provision in a wonderful way. Some would say they were natural or coincidental timings, but we clearly see God manipulating national prices and the timing of our moving, to provide for us His children.
We had managed in the last 7 years in Gibraltar to buy a very small apartment, one and a half bedrooms, from David’s parents who were retiring into Spain. It was crowded with 2 people but somehow four of us managed to live comfortably. And when the time came for us to leave, we were able to sell this apartment in the city centre and with the profit, buy outright (no mortgage) a 4 bed roomed house here in East Yorkshire in one of the most prestigious villages in the area, and also buy a decent second hand car!
Had we returned just months later, property here rocketed in price and by just a year and a half later had doubled in value, while prices had remained stable in Gibraltar. We would have been financially incapable of buying a similar house in such a good location.
As ministers for the vast majority of our working life, just as the majority of ministers at that time, we were on a very basic wage. I don’t say this in any way to blame the churches involved, as this was the norm at that time. I can’t ever remember asking any church where we interviewed or served, how much they would pay us. Why? Because God is our provider. Our salary isn’t, the pension isn’t, interest rates aren’t, but God is. Being enabled to buy our home with cash, mortgage free and rent free, our financial position was much easier.
I’m so glad that young ministers are more decently paid today, but on another level, I feel sorry that the financial adventures and provision we knew, is almost unnecessary today.
It has provided a fundamental understanding that God can and will meet our needs. That in an insecure world we are safe, that He provides. Whether it is brown envelopes in the post box, or good timing or unexpected offers and bargains, or loving, generous and kind people He puts around us, (more of that in my next article), God provides.
Psalm 23.1. ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.’