2 Corinthians 3:5, “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God”
I seriously debated sharing this story, but my wife insisted I share because it demonstrates how God provides. She also thought part of it was quite humorous too. It may be the fact that it was just me experiencing what I experienced that made it funny to her. LOL! However, I do believe it really shows how God provides for us ( believers ).
So, a few weeks ago I had been working in my office at church before people started arriving. Yes, it was a Sunday morning to be exact. Somewhere around 9:00am people started arriving for Sunday School fellowship. I had left my office door open to go make some copies of paper. Arriving back at my office I found a small gift box with a note that said, “Bro. Bryan – A gift for you”. I was intrigued, as most likely anyone would be. So I opened it up, and it was a gift card to the Men’s Warehouse clothing store. The tag on the card showed a two-digit number signifying how much the card was for. It would not have mattered the amount, but what did matter is that God had used someone to bless me. For that I was genuinely grateful.
So I have had this double-digit card in my wallet for probably three weeks now saving up some money, and praying for the best use of this card. For example, “Do I buy a shirt with it?”, “Do I buy a sweater with it?”, “Do I buy a bunch of socks and / or ties with it?”. You get the picture.
Another pastor friend of mine had given me 4 or 5 suits that he was unable to wear any longer due to losing a bunch of weight. LUCKY GUY!! I had already taken those suits and had them altered. I felt pretty good about my suit collection – at least until this summer anyway LOL.. Seriously though, I really wanted to genuinely make the best use out of this gift I had been given. I firmly believe God honors us when we genuinely seek Him even in these types of decisions. So, after prayer, and also some discussion with my wife we felt the best use of the money would be to save some more money and put with it and get me a blazer type coat that could be worn on Sunday mornings or even more casually on our Wednesday night services. Yes, I am a preacher, and we have to think that way sometimes. LOL.
So, last night I show up at the Men’s Warehouse alone, because my wife ended up having to keep a bunch of extra little children at the last minute. I walk in to the store. The gentlemen helping me was very nice, and asked what I was looking for. I shared with him that I wanted to look at blazers that could be worn with dress pants, khakis, or even possibly nice jeans at more casual functions. I also asked him if they had any sales going on at the time. Note to self – being a good steward does mean you should investigate sale items. LOL.
Please note, at this time, I had no idea how unclear the salesman was being, and just how unclear I was understanding. Looking back, my mind must have been in Wonder Land, because I am not normally this clouded when it comes to dealing with money. Just ask my wife! First, I’m hearing that the sale is structured where I could possibly walk out with two blazers for one-hundred and something dollars. Doesn’t sound too far fetched because the last time ( YEARS AGO ) I actually bought a suit from the store it was S&K’s 2 for $200 sale. Next, thinking they were that great of a deal, and having a little money put back to go with the double-digit card, I pick out a third blazer like I have just hit the jackpot.
After questioning the gentleman again on the price, some reality hits, and I realize that $300 would be too much to pay that evening for 3 blazers. I kind of felt guilty to be honest spending that on myself. So I told the guy, “Oh, don’t worry about the third one, I’ll take these two though”. In telling him this I am thinking I’ll be leaving the store with two really nice blazers for $200 minus my gift card, so I still have hit a grand-slam with my purchase.
The salesman has done his job well measuring me, checking out the jackets and such. He proceeds to get his tailor and they both come out to make the right markings, measurements, and get everything set. I’m feeling really good at this point because these are the first two brand-spanking new dress coats I have bought since the year 2001. I confess. I liked it. It was then, I had glimpse into the fact that my taste for clothing far outweighs my budget LOL.
Everything is set for me to pick up my coats this Thursday night. At this point, this is probably the closest thing to what my wife feels like in a shoe store. Then, the gentleman and I proceed over to checkout counter. Keep in mind that in my mind I’m getting out of there for a couple of hundred dollars minus my gift card so I am pumped. The salesman begins ringing up the order. I’m seeing triple digit numbers flash before my eyes. They seemed to be in such bold, bright, highlighted digits that anyone in the whole store could see them. The total is outrageous to say the least. Then, he shares that he has to take the amounts off for the sale going on. A bit of instant relief came over me. I will say, the sale took a good chunk out of the total, but then, it happened. The final number appeared before my eyes. Good grief, were these coats lined with gold? That was might thought. It was like I was in a daze, and had no idea what to do. For once in my life I was stunned. My palms got sweaty, I began to get light-headed, I think I started having heart palpitations. I even thought, my car is across the street and my asthmatic inhaler is all the way in there. I was too embarrassed to tell the guy “no” at that point, but I had not saved up that much to go with my gift card.
So, as one last attempt to stall so I could come up with a good excuse not to purchase the items, I asked him if he could check to see how much I had left on the gift card. THAT’S WHEN IT HAPPENED!! God changed everything in that one moment of time. The salesman swiped the card through. The card was not a double digit card. It contained three digits of money on that card. My purchase was taken care of for the most part. Instead of lacking the adequate funds to purchase these quotes I was blessed beyond immensely. Where my resources were inadequate; God’s never-ending resources were more than adequate! My flesh wanted to say get out of there in case that was wrong, but I had to ask if that were correct. So I asked him to please double check that amount, and he said, indeed it was correct. I will say I felt like David in the Psalms when it describes him as “dancing unto the Lord”. No, I didn’t literally dance in the store, but it almost happened. LOL. I was in such a daze about the whole thing that being in sheer amazement over what had taken place I almost didn’t get out of the store. I was trying to pull the door open when it had to be pushed open. Yes, the guy even had to instruct me to push because I’m looking at my receipt in unbelief and amazement.
Now, I to this day have no idea who gave me the gift. This is what I do know. God put me on the heart of someone. I am thankful to that person for the gracious gift they gave no matter who it is. I say, “Thank you!”. I want to say, “Thank You, and glory to God in the highest” for the gift that He gave through this individual.
I was sharing with my dad the whole experience, and he asked me if I had any idea who it was. I told him it was God doing for me what I could not do for myself. I believe that with every unction of my being. Praise God, Praise Him! God gives to us out of love. It’s not because I deserved it. I don’t, but He is gracious to us – not giving to us as we deserve, but giving to us what we do not deserve. So, all I can say is this, “Thank you Jesus!”
It was the Miracle I experienced at the Men’s Warehouse – I guarantee it!