Day Eight: A Dozen Reasons
This is one of my favorites.
Seven years ago, I was living with a roommate, who was also a friend. We had a mutually beneficial living arrangement, we shared and rented a lovely house that neither one of us could have afforded on our own. Still, money was tight, for both of us.
I remember that I was stressed out over an obligation I needed to pay for the very next day. At the time, I was working an entry level position in the field I had gone to school for. I was happy enough with my job, but the pay wasn’t the greatest.
I was, at that time, between paychecks, and I am not exaggerating when I say that I lived from paycheck to paycheck. In fact, my paycheck never stretched out enough until the next, and the last few days before my biweekly pay day were always a little rough. This was one of those times.
I remember sitting on the couch, still in my work clothes, and I was reading through this really pretty magazine that was about Jesus. As I was glancing through the magazine, I was visiting with my roommate and a friend she had over. Talking to them, my roommate’s friend remarked that he didn’t believe in Jesus.
This bothered me on a personal level. I felt sad for anyone who didn’t believe, because I wondered how scary, or even lonely it would be to go through life believing in nothingness. It also bothered me because this individual, while highly intelligent, was also convinced that he was more intelligent than others. He was a nice guy, but his critical nature towards my beliefs rubbed me the wrong way. I never try to push what I believe onto others, but I am always willing to talk about why I believe, if, and only if, the other party is interested. I can’t make somebody believe. So, I was a little offended that he was so condescending towards me. I blew it off, and continued our conversation, but about other things.
Halfway through our conversation, I remembered a bill that I had to pay the very next day, a bill that was not planned and had been forgotten. I was suddenly distracted and my friends noticed.
Asking me, I told them that I had to pay something, bit I didn’t have the money. I didn’t get paid for several more days, and after checking my account balance on my phone, I knew I didn’t have enough. I needed sixty-five dollars that I did not have.
I racked my brain, trying to think of ways to come up with the money, and couldn’t think of anything I could do at the last minute, and I was a little upset. I excused myself and even made a phone call to a person who owed me some money, more than the sixty-five I owed, and asked for that money. I would of never asked, but I was desperate. They didn’t have it, and I wasn’t surprised. I couldn’t be mad, after all I owed a bill the next day that I myself couldn’t pay.
I was however, a little worried. I hate being worried, especially since the Bible says so many times not to be. I said a prayer in my room, and decided to let my worries go, and rejoin my friends in the living room.
They asked me if I had it figured out, and though I didn’t want to talk about it, I told them no, but that everything would be just fine.
That’s when my roommate’s friend said, “Maybe you should just pray about it,” with a sarcastic smile on his face. It made me a little angry, I admit.
I stood up, deciding I was done talking to him for the evening, and told him, “I did pray about it. Everything will be fine.” To which he sort of chuckled.
Bristling, I picked up my magazine and decided to head to my room, and I am not kidding when I tell you that I decided to sing, at the top of my lungs, all the way to my room. Almost defiantly.
I sang, Jesus loves me. You know the song, right? I think everybody heard it or has sang it as a child. Well, I wasn’t a child, but I was a child of God, and for some reason singing this song made me feel better. I wanted this snide young man to realize his opinion of my beliefs didn’t phase me.
So, I sang the song all the way to my room, carrying my magazine. As I entered my room, I went to place my magazine on my dresser, and knocked over a green ceramic bottle that I sometimes used for a vase for fake flowers. This bottle was currently empty of flowers, and it clattered off my dresser, where it rolled along the carpet, unbroken.
It jingled, and I realized sometimes I put loose change in my bottles and vases. I had a last ditch hope that maybe I could scrounge up enough change to cash in to my pay my bill, so I decided to look in all my bottles, starting with the green bottle that I had clumsily knocked over with my Jesus magazine.
I picked up the bottle and shook it, sure enough there was change in it, but it didn’t sound like much. I peered in the narrow opening, and my heart started to beat a little faster.
There was something rolled up in there. I stuck my fingers in there, I could only manage to squeeze in two. I started pulling. I pulled out a fifty dollar bill. I looked. There was more in there. My heart was really beating now. I started pulling, and pulling and pulling. There were more fifties. Twenties, tens and fives. My hands were shaking, and my legs felt weak. I plopped down on my bed, and counted the money. There was six hundred and fifty dollars in mixed bills, laying on my bed. I just couldn’t believe it.
That bottle had sat on my dresser, or various other places in my room for over two years. I couldn’t even remember where I had got the bottle, probably a garage sale or thrift store, as that’s where most of my decor was from. I just sat there stunned.
I regained my composure. I was giddy with excitement and I looked up and said, “Thank you, God!” I was oh so thankful. I had been blessed with ten times what I needed!
I ran back out to the living room, and I told my roommate and her friend. I was so excited that I wanted to share my news with everyone. I still remember the look on that young man’s face. It was a mix of disbelief and something else. Perhaps wonder, perhaps curiosity? I couldn’t tell you, though I do pray that somehow this made him think about Jesus in a different light. Curiousity is a good step forward. I pray that maybe today, wherever he is, that he believes. Maybe this blessing I received was the beginning of an interest, and a journey towards God.
I do believe that he was a witness to my blessing in a bottle for a reason. I find it amazing that our conversation about God started with a magazine, the same magazine portraying Jesus’ picture and that I was holding as I defiantly sang about Jesus. The same magazine that knocked over that bottle, where I discovered the money.
Coincidence? No way. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I do not believe in coincidences when it comes to my Lord. I believe in miracles.
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The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.