October 29, 1984 was the beginning of a “Great Disappointment” for our family.
Like many young families, one of our financial goals was to save a nest egg for future needs by building equity in a house. Twice we bought and sold houses for a nice profit without even needing a real estate agent. Our nest egg was growing—just as planned.
In 1981 we moved to Denver. While I’d given the Lord some of the credit for our previous good real estate investments, I was secretly reserving some of the credit for myself. This time I prayed a little less and trusted my judgment more. We purchased a house that I thought would be another good investment.
It soon became clear that I’d made a mistake. We simply couldn’t afford the payments on this house. If we didn’t sell it, we’d have to spend our savings just to keep up, and lose our precious equity. We placed an ad, and in a few weeks we had a buyer. We rejoiced in God’s help!
When I arrived home the evening of October 29, I found a message from the man who’d bought our house; he couldn’t get financing and was canceling the contract. It happened that the same day our bank sent us notice that our checking account was overdrawn $1,000 because of a mistake in my calculations.
Our joy turned to discouragement.
I went to the Scriptures for consolation and guidance. In Psalm 37 I found counsel for people in hard financial times: don’t fret, but trust in God, because He won’t let righteous people become beggars. I claimed those promises. To me they meant the Lord would sell our house quickly.
And then we waited—while month after month the price of real estate in Denver plummeted.
Up until that time I thought I had figured out how God works for His people in financial matters. But where was God now? Why wasn’t He saving our equity?
Eventually we did sell the house, but not for the profit I had anticipated. We actually left Colorado with a small loan to pay off rather than a nice nest egg.
Yet that experience was a wonderful answer to our prayers. Because that is where we learned to trust our finances to the Lord.
Yes, we lost money on one house. But since then we have seen miracle after miracle as the Lord has provided not only for our needs but for many of our wants and desires.
In the margin of my Bible, near Psalm 37, are written dates and reminders of the times when the Lord helped us. Money has arrived unexpectedly, cars have been given to us, and the homes we have lived in have each been better than the one before. Our equity is small, but we are rich in trust. Our family wouldn’t trade the value of knowing He is there for us for any savings account.
We believe these words: “In the future life the mysteries that have here annoyed and disappointed us will be made plain. We shall see that our seemingly unanswered prayers and disappointed hopes have been among our greatest blessings” (The Ministry of Healing, p. 474).
“The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied” (Psalm 37:18, 19, NKJV).
By Jerry Page
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