Matthew 6:25-34; 2 Kings 4:1-7
After a year of many trials, Amelia had learned an important fact.
Amelia waved goodbye from the living room window as her dad got into the truck to go to work. It had been over a year since she had last seen her father leave for work—a hard year with times of uncertainty and tears. Not just tears of sorrow, though, but also tears of joy.
Her mind went back to the last day of school a year ago. Amelia and her three brothers had raced home, eager to begin preparations for their family’s annual two-week vacation. She had bolted through the doorway and stopped short, surprised to see her dad there. “How come you’re home so early, Dad? You aren’t sick, are you?”
Her father looked up. “No, I’m not sick, Honey. But I do have some news to tell you and your brothers.” He paused for a moment, and then went on. “Due to cutbacks at work, I’ve been laid off. So our vacation is going to have to be postponed. We just can’t afford one now.”
“Oh, no, Daddy!” Amelia and her brothers had wailed. “We’ve been looking forward to this for so long!”
“I’m sorry. I know you’re disappointed, but your mother and I feel that God has His hand in this. He knows all our needs and He’ll provide for us. We just have to keep trusting and serving Him. The Bible says that He even takes care of the birds, so we can be sure that He’ll keep His hand over us.”
Amelia had run to her room with tears of disappointment in her eyes. If God loved them, how could He let their vacation be ruined?
She hadn’t understood at the time, but that summer had proved to be one she would never forget. There was no money for the usual summer activities like swimming at the city pool or playing soccer at the YMCA, but soon Amelia realized that those things didn’t matter that much anyway. Her mom and dad were happy even without a lot of money. Mom had to sell her car to help pay expenses, and there were very few dinners out, but it had been great having Dad around.
God had remained the center of their lives. There was never any bitterness about the way things were going. They had family worship every day, and her father never failed to thank God for His bountiful blessings, even when times were the hardest.
Amelia soon realized that God rewarded her parents’ faith. Time after time God pulled the family through hard places. Once, when they were short of cash for food, Amelia’s youngest brother found a twenty-dollar bill at the park. Another time, money was sent to them from an unknown source. But the incident that really stood out in Amelia’s memory was when God got them to church and back with no gasoline in the car!
The gas gauge had read empty. It was time to leave for church, but Amelia had a question. “Dad, how are we going to get to church? The car doesn’t have any gas.”
“We’re going to trust the Lord,” had been her father’s reply. “I don’t have any money for gas and I know the gauge says empty, but it is His will for us to be in the service this morning. He can take us the twenty miles to church and back again.”
Amelia got silently into the car. Would it even start? It did . . . and the trip began. Every few minutes Amelia peeked over her father’s shoulder. That gas needle was solidly on empty, but the car moved on without a sputter.
They made it to church. When it was time to leave, Amelia asked, “Shouldn’t we see if someone could take us home, Dad? We’ll never get back. We’re sure to get stuck halfway!”
Her dad just smiled and said, “God will get us home, Amelia.”
Sure enough, God did. As they turned into their driveway, the car engine sputtered and died. It was then that the tears came to Amelia’s eyes. God worked a miracle today, she thought. He does care about us!
Yes, it had been a year Amelia would never forget. Their family had faced many trials, but God had taken them through every one. Today Dad was starting his new job, and just as he had said, God had provided all their needs.