It was my junior year of college and I didn’t have the money I needed to pay off my tuition for the fall semester. I was a couple hundred dollars short and there was no Plan B.
Believe it or not, I had no student loans. I was fortunate enough to have a scholarship that covered half of my tuition. And thanks to going to a state university, the bill was low enough that I could make the payments by working 25 hours a week as an errand runner at the hospital.
Somehow, though, I hadn’t saved enough money to pay off my bill for the semester and I didn’t know what I was going to do.
You’d think I would’ve asked my parents for help but we had a policy in our home that we had to pay for our own cars, insurance and education. It never entered my mind to call Mom and ask her to spot me the money. It was my responsibility.
One day in the midst of my financial straights, my mom invited me to meet her for lunch at Pizza Hut. After I had a few slices of pizza and a couple of trips to the salad bar, Mom pulled out an envelope.
“Joshua,” she said, “I’ve been putting a little money to the side here and there and I want to bless you with it.”
It was $267 cash.
“Oh Mom,” I said with a sigh of relief, “thank you. I really needed it right now.”
As it turned out, it was exactly what I needed, as I found out the next day when I went to pay off my bill.
There was an office at the university where you could make payments on tuition, and the lady behind the counter was very familiar with me. I was that guy — the who came in and paid my bill, bit by bit, all semester long.
I walked up to the counter and told her that I wanted to make a payment on my tuition.
“How much more do I have left to pay?” I asked.
The woman looked on the screen, scrolling down and then said, “You’ve got $267 left on your bill for the semester.”
My mouth dropped open.
“Are you serious?” I asked.
“Yep,” she said, looking at the screen again, “it’s $267.”
The next thing you know, I was blurting out the story of how my mom had taken me to lunch. I couldn’t help myself. It was a divine interruption if I’d ever seen one. And here I am, 20 years later, still telling the story.
May you hear that story and wonder why those kinds of things always seem to happen to others. That’s understandable but it’s misguided.
Every day, God interrupts our lives with blessings that we don’t even notice. Think about your own life. Remember that time someone came through for you just at the moment you needed it? What are some of those little coincidences that happened to you and seemed like such a pleasant surprise?
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). Every single one of those gifts comes from Him.
It might be $267 right when you need it, a phone call from a friend when you’re down in the dumps, or that passage of Scripture that jumps off of the page and speaks directly to you.
All of those good and perfect gifts are equally valid and equally glorious. Why? Because they come from the same source: your heavenly Father. They also carry the same message: “I love you, I love you, I love you. And while you may not realize that I’m the one behind these loving interruptions, it’s Me.”
“My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). He’s the one meeting all of our needs, and He does it one unexpected blessing at a time.
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