There is a story to be told. It’s a story that God knew would be told long before we scheduled the home dedication for Saturday, December 8th–even long before we met the Trout family from Allerton, Iowa. It’s a story that has to be told, and I’ll do my best to tell it the way the Lord wants me to tell it.
A few years ago, the Lord began to use me to tell His story of how He uses His people. I’ve messed it up from time to time, and have surely unintentionally ignored some pretty important details. I’ve likely added some unnecessary tidbits along the way, as well. I don’t write the story. God is the author. I just do my best to tell it.
This year, I’ve probably talked more than ever in my communication about the financial need of the build. Very early on, I felt the Spirit’s calling to tell the story about the financial need. It’s always a necessary part of what I do, but this year it was different. The need was more significant as the weeks and days flew by, and the project drew closer and closer. With only 30 days left before dedication, I wrote an earlier entry to this blog to “wait and see what God’s about to do.” We needed $60,000 in a months time–an impossible feat for man. It was a notice to all around to open your eyes and ears to witness God move a mountain.
We ordered building materials, broke ground, and proceeded with the building process without the needed funds received. It wasn’t the first time we’ve done that, but every time we do it our faith is tested, and self doubt creeps in (did we do all we could, has God remained in the center of it all, will He allow us to fail if it’s His will we seek all along?) The self doubt always seems to subside after prayer, just as I wrote a few days ago about His gentle reminder to us that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
As we approached dedication, the financial need seemed as significant as ever. The numbers were not adding up on paper, and the story that we knew we’d soon be telling, grew to even more miraculous proportions.
Then the mountain began to move. The checks began to come in with greater frequency, and in larger amounts. With a day and a half to go before dedication, the numbers finally began to make sense on paper. A late night phone call Thursday night brought a pledge from a donor that would get us within just a few thousand of our need. Friday morning, I was certain the remaining funds would arrive in the mail that night…but they didn’t. Not one check would arrive in the box that night. That wasn’t His story. He wasn’t going to meet the need 24 hours before the dedication. He was going to meet it in the very hour of dedication.
Five minutes before dedication, Roy showed me a number for the overall expenses of this year’s build written on the palm of his hand. That number was about $50 less than the amount that we had collected in the last 12 months, including the checks and hand fulls of cash I’d collected that very hour.
The thing is, we don’t “raise funds”. We don’t have plans and strategies to raise x amount of dollars each year. We don’t even know what the overall expenditures will be from year to year. They always vary. With the Spirits guidance, we simply tell the need the best we can. It is He who distributes His funds. They have always been His funds. And they will always be distributed on His timing, and not ours.
So, I’ll give you an update on the funds for the very last time this year. To His glory, we are fully funded! Praise be to God!