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A Big Bag Of Shoes
By Keith Rawlinson
Volunteer Budget Counselor

When you do things God's way, He blesses it.  He said He would bless us for following His ways and He keeps His promises--that's just the way God is.  Unfortunately, this concept has led to some misunderstanding.  Too many people think that God is going to bless them with material wealth, usually in the form of money.  It is important to remember that God promised to bless us when we do things His way, but he never said how he would bless us.  Here is a true story that I tell in my counseling and in my financial class as an illustration of God blessing us.

There was a woman in church who had found herself a single mother.  She had little or no income and was finding it very difficult to provide for her children.  As a result of the low income, she could no longer afford the house she had been renting, so had to move out of the house and into an apartment.  Since the move was just across town, she saved time by packing what belongings she had into boxes and garbage bags.  The next day, after the move was completed and she had unpacked all of the boxes and bags, she realized that the garbage bag into which she had packed her and her children's shoes was missing. She drove back to the house she had been living in and asked the landlord if he had seen the bag of shoes.  With sincere apology, the landlord told her that he did see the bag of shoes, but since it was left behind and in a garbage bag, he assumed it was trash and had already disposed of it.  The woman was devastated.  Her church shoes and the shoes she wore to her job were in there, her children's school shoes and church shoes were in there as well.  Now, they were gone and she could not afford the money to replace them.  Someone at church heard about the situation, decided to be an answer to prayer and spent their own money to replace all of the shoes the woman and her children had lost.  The immediate crisis had been dealt with, and the woman's prayers had been answered.

This is a true story and, trust me, the woman was very relieved and felt very blessed to have her prayer answered so quickly, completely and specifically.  God could have just provided her with some side work through which she could have earned the extra money to replace her family's shoes.  God could also have chosen to have someone just give the woman cash so she could replace the shoes.  There are many ways that God could have put money into the woman's life so that she could replace the shoes; but, God chose instead to bless her with a big bag of shoes.  No more than the woman needed, and no less.  It was an answer to prayer, it was a blessing from God, and it was not in the form of money.

As you go through your financial life, and as you strive to do more and more things toward handling your money God's way, remember the story you just read.  Yes, sometimes God chooses to bless His people with material wealth, but sometimes not.  It may not be with money, but God will bless you for doing things His way.  It is up to you to be watching for those blessings.  If you are expecting cash, you may totally miss recognizing some of God's blessings in your life.  He might choose to bless you with cash, or He might choose to bless you with a big bag of shoes (or whatever it is you really need), but He will bless you if you do things His way.

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This article copyright 2009 by Keith C. Rawlinson (  All rights reserved.
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