I want to follow-up on the small article I wrote in my last prayer letter regarding God’s provision for those who are faithful and stubborn to do His will in spite of very difficult circumstances. I know that many families who receive this prayer letter are suffering financially and are in need of God’s great provision for their lives. I realize that when the income for the Cuba ministry drops it is most likely a reflection of the financial difficulties that are facing those who care about this ministry. And in that context I want to share with you another testimony of God’s miraculous provision, for your encouragement.
Back in 1994 when I had been a Christian for less than two years I found myself unemployed and our family was absolutely broke. At that time I had collected two large boxes of Spanish Bibles and New Testaments that I wanted to ship down to a ministry in Texas. This ministry had an office along the border and if I sent the boxes to their address they would cross them into Mexico, where they would be handed out as part of their Sidewalk Sunday School program in the poorest neighborhoods of Mexico City.
I weighed the two boxes on our bathroom scale and using a United Parcel Service (UPS) rate chart I calculated the cost. The $40 cash that I had left in my wallet would just barely be enough to ship these boxes. Our family was in a financial crisis and this was the only cash that I had available to me but I wanted to keep my commitment of getting the Spanish Bibles into the hands of those who needed them.
I loaded up my boxes and headed for Seattle where there was a UPS office. On the way I had to make a stop downtown and one thing I forgot to figure into my plan was that stopping in downtown Seattle meant I had to spend $7.50 for parking while I did my errand. I returned to my car and realized that now I only had $32.50 left. According to my calculation, that amount was not going to come close to covering the shipping of both boxes.
I thought about going home and doing the shipping on another day, when I would have a little bit more cash available. However, I decided to go to UPS anyway, thinking that perhaps my bathroom scale was inaccurate and that perhaps somehow $32.50 was going to be enough to ship both boxes.
When I arrived at UPS the lady at the counter put the first box on the scale and told me what the shipping charge was. It was $23 and my heart sank. I knew that I was in trouble because the other box was at least as heavy! Even my full $40 would not have been enough for both!
I said to her, “I guess I will just ship that one box because I don’t have enough money for the other one.” She said, “Let’s go ahead and put it on the scale and let’s see.” I put the second box on the scale and it was going to be more than $20. I said to her again, “I’m sorry, but I don’t have enough money to ship that one today. I’ll have to come back.”
Then she looked at me and said, “That’s okay. We’ll just ship this one for free for you.”
She printed out two shipping labels, and put them on the boxes, and put the boxes on the conveyor belt, and charged me $23. The Bibles were on their way and I had money left in my pocket.
My question to you is, when have you ever seen UPS or FedEx or anyone who’s in the business of shipping simply offer to send a box for free? And the answer is, when it is a box full of Bibles headed for Mexico, all things are possible.
Perhaps you are feeling your resources do not match what is needed. Perhaps you are feeling that you do not have enough in your wallet to cover all your commitments, and to do all the things the Lord has asked you to do, and to take steps toward the things you want to be involved with for Jesus’ sake. My advice to you is the same as last month’s: be faithful and be stubborn and to go ahead and try anyway. Because when you try — especially when it looks improbable — you give God an opportunity to do the impossible.
And just maybe you will find yourself in a circumstance like I did, praising God as I walked back to my car, knowing that He’d done a little miracle for me, shipping a box of Bibles for free through UPS.
May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you greatly.