When I was growing up, my mother always conducted morning and evening worship. She would share stories of how Jesus blessed children in foreign lands. She would read us the Bible and bedtime stories from the Uncle Arthur books. I enjoyed hearing the stories and always wondered if any of the miracles in the books and in the Bible would happen to me one day.
My mother also encouraged us to be generous and faithful to God. As a single parent, she knew the struggles of financial constraint. At worship time she would discuss with us any challenges the family was about to experience, and she always prayed about the situation and involved us in making decisions to solve the problem. For instance, we decided we could save money by taking lunch to school instead of buying it and being careful about how long we kept lights on in our bedrooms.
One Sabbath morning during worship, my mother announced that the pay she had received on Friday was inadequate to cover all the expenses for the next week. She then told us the amount of her salary and how much she would pay in tithe and offering. She also indicated how much money she had to set aside for her transportation to work and for ours to school the next week.
We could clearly see that the amount of money left would not pay for us to take public transportation to church that day.
Fortunately, we had enough food in the house to last us for the week. As a family we discussed the situation and decided to walk to and from church so we could still attend services that day. We all decided to leave a little earlier than usual for church.
When everyone was ready to go, my mother prayed to the Lord for guidance during our journey to church. We lived in a housing development and had to walk a short distance before reaching the main road. As we started to walk to church, a member who was driving by stopped and gave us a ride there. My mother thanked him and sent up a “thank You” prayer to God.
When the divine service at church was finished, we left immediately because we had to walk home for lunch. As we went through the church gate and started down the road, another church member offered us a ride home. He was going to drive right by the entrance to our housing development. My mother thanked him and sent up another “thank You” prayer to God.
After lunch we discussed how God had blessed us that morning by providing a ride to and from church. We were all grateful and thanked God for what He had done for us. Then, as usual, my mother prayed to the Lord for guidance during our journey back to church for the afternoon program. After her prayer we headed back to the main road to start our walk to church. Before we had walked for five minutes, another member who was driving to church stopped and gave us a ride. My mother thanked him and sent up another “thank You” prayer to God.
Near sunset that day, we walked home with a group of friends and shared the experience of how God had provided a ride for us to attend all the church programs during the Sabbath hours. When we reached home, my mother thanked God for all He had done for us. As a family we felt privileged that we now had a miracle story to share with others about how God had blessed us!
But the blessings didn’t end on Saturday night. On Sunday morning my grandfather showed up with a whole box of groceries for us. There was so much food in the box that my mother shared some with another family in need.
This experience had a great impact on me. It showed me the importance of being faithful to God in returning my tithe and offering. I have repeated the story to my children and have encouraged them to be faithful to God. He promises us in Malachi 3:10, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (KJV). I have seen that text fulfilled!