Give away what you have?



What do you do when the pantry is empty? You might learn a lesson from Polly and David Simpchen—who needed a miracle.

David and Polly were expecting their first baby within the week, and times were particularly hard. David had been working, spraying ceilings for a small dry-wall company. He had not had any work that week, however, and the two of them were living hand to mouth. For the first time in their short married life, their food supply was down to nothing. They had no milk, no bread, no peanut butter.

In the refrigerator was just enough hamburger to make one patty. The cupboard contained a can of vegetable soup, a little flour, and a bit of sugar--all they had left.

That Sunday morning David prayed specifically for God to provide money for rent, food, and gas. They then went to church, grateful they would at least be eating lunch with friends. In the afternoon as Polly was resting, she heard a knock at her door. She answered, seeing an unusually tall grey-haired woman. "I am hungry," she said. That's all--no further explanations.

"Come in and I will fix you a hamburger and some soup," Polly volunteered eagerly. She had never had such a request, but she wasn't going to let anyone go hungry!

"No, just give me the hamburger meat," the woman said. "I'll wait here."

Polly went to the refrigerator, ready to relinquish her last bit of meat. She silently prayed again her husband's prayer--that God would supply their needs. In faith that her prayer would be answered, she handed the woman the tiny portion of ground meat, all she had. The mysterious woman thanked her, turned, and left. Polly called David quickly to tell him what happened. They both looked out the window, expecting to see her walking down the sidewalk.

But she was gone. They ran out into the yard. Polly went to the left, David to the right. They looked everywhere for her. But she had disappeared. They were puzzled.

The next morning on their front porch they found an envelope with a check and a note from some neighbors. It was enough to cover their rent, some food, and gas for the car.

Polly saw a glimpse of God's graceful plan that is often beyond our imagination. He had given her the gift of faith to believe he would take care of their needs, even if she gave away their last portion of meat to a stranger. And he had honored her generosity.

Polly's story reminds me of the story about the generous widow blessed by God through Elijah. I'll recap that biblical story and many inspiring contemporary true stories in the next part--"Miracles of Provision."

Remember, miracles happen when we pray--when we seek God, get to know him, and live lives of faith.


From: Miracles Happen When You Pray by Quin Sherrer, 1997, pag. 29-31, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan.