Three years ago I left the relative comfort of earning a regular paycheck to enter seminary.
The journey has been breathtaking as I learned about the scriptures and the promise of the Lord in ways I never thought were possible.
One of the most important learnings has been the trust required to follow the Lord when there is no money coming in.
While I am extremely grateful for the income provided by Hall Chapel and Mitchell Chapel the two churches that I pastor. What I am paid barely covers gas as I drive the nearly 200 miles round trip from Decatur to Sparta for church, Bible Study and various community meetings.
So the checkout counter has provided some interesting moments for this economically challenged student. As on more than one occasion I have found myself anywhere from a penny to dollars short of the actual retail price.
But, it is in those moments that a blessing has taken place at the checkout counter. To be certain many times I left the store without a few items that were on the list.
But more times that I can count it was me that was able to give anywhere from a penny to the dollars that the customer needed to meet the actual retail price.
A rich man asked Jesus what did it take to inherit eternal life? The man said that he had faithfully followed the commandments, but Jesus said that he lacked one thing. Which was to sell all of his stuff and follow him.
Shocked, the man went away grieving, for he had many possessions which he was not about to sell to inherit eternal life.
So this is the thing, inheriting eternal life has nothing to do with what we can gain --- and everything to do with what we give up.
Don’t get me wrong the Lord wants us to have things and the things can be nice and we can have many of them. However, what Jesus is telling the rich man and you and me that our trust should be in Jesus to supply all of our needs. And if all the things and money were to go away God will continue to supply all of our needs. Because God is already supplying our needs.
Therefore, for me the blessing at the checkout counter is not that someone helped me with a few cents or that I was able to be of help. The blessing is I can count on the Lord to supply my needs.
Because in the three years that I have been in seminar my tank has never been empty going to Sparta, I have never lacked food, and the money that the church pays me has always been enough.
But these blessings have not been my doing alone. The Lord has placed many people in my path who have blessed me economically during my years at seminary. I will be forever grateful for your sowing into me.
With every paper written, every test taken and every blog posted. I thank the Lord for the blessings you have given me at the checkout counter.