I found two pennies the other day. That’s right two pennies! Not one. Not three. Two pennies! Pennies and I go waaaaay back. The significance of pennies takes me back to when I was in Bible college with limited funds. And I mean limited. I was being raised by a single mom, raising three children with no financial support. Therefore, it was up to me to come up with some cash of my own.
I took on a job as a waitress. It wasn’t exactly my dream job—nor, apparently, was it my gifting. One day my boss pulled me aside to a table for two tucked away in a corner of the restaurant (not as romantic as it sounds). He told me that as nice a girl as I was, things just weren’t working out. So he gave me a choice. He could fire me or I could quit. Quitting looked better on my resume. So I promptly handed in my uniform and began my forty-five minute trek home.
As I walked along, I began pouring out my financial concerns to the Lord. “God, you led me to Bible college. But my resources have run dry. How do you expect me to graduate without a job?” My rant went on for blocks. I looked down on the sidewalk and there was a penny. I stooped down to retrieve it and put it in my pocket then carried on in conversation with the Lord. “Where am I going to get the money, Lord?” I looked down and saw another penny. I put it in my pocket and picked up where I left off in my complaint. A few steps further, I looked down and saw another penny. It wasn’t until I held all three pennies in my hand that God had my full attention. And He finally had a chance to speak. I’ll never forget His three words as I stared at the three pennies. “I-will-provide.” And-He-has! Time and time again. Right down to the very-last-penny.
Not unlike the way He provided for Abraham on Mt. Moriah. Or Job when he got to the end of his rope. Or Jeremiah, the weeping prophet. Or Mary, the mother of Jesus. Nothing is too difficult for God (Gen. 18:14, Jer. 32:17, Lk 1:37). He is the owner of the cattle on a thousand hills after all (Ps. 50:10).
Since that day of personal provision, I’ve found hundreds of pennies. And with each one, I’ve recited God’s three words to my heart. Now that they are extinct in Canada, the Lord plants nickels and quarters and even loonies or toonies on my path. And I smile when I consider His appropriate response to the cost of inflation.
Three pennies was then, but this is now—facing a new challenge in my life; a devastating blow. I went for a walk to pour out my heart to the Lord. And lo and behold, freshly exposed beneath the melting winter snow and ice, right there at my feet I looked down to find not three, but two pennies (American pennies mind you, but pennies nonetheless).
As I stood there on the pavement I began to sob. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I knew that the Lord had placed them there just for me. I’m positive they would have otherwise been overlooked and perhaps remained there indefinitely until a street sweeper swept them up with the winter debris.
Upon picking them up and putting them in my pocket I knew exactly what they meant. You see, just that morning I had turned to Scripture to allow God’s Word to seep into my broken heart. As I turned to Jeremiah 30 and 31 I glanced at several highlights on the pages of my Bible. All of them simply stated, “I will…” I didn’t take the time to read what the “…” referred to after each highlight. But you can be sure that that was going to be the first thing I looked up when I got home again. I nearly ran to see what God was waiting to tell me “He will” do. And I was assured that whatever He said would be aimed straight for the inner sanctum of my heart.
Below are a few of the “I wills” I discovered. See if any of them apply to a situation you may be facing or have faced:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally, she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
To book Lisa for a weekend retreat or day conference contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org