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Immeasurably More Than All We Ask Or Imagine

Not too long ago, my wife and I attended a church that was constantly in financial straits. I was allowed to lead the weekly collection of tithes and offerings for quite a stretch.

Each week, I'd try to stir faith and hope in the people by recounting testimonies Bonnie and I have experienced of the faithfulness of God. Or, I'd read a short passage of scripture that presented God in the same light, and then comment on it.

I also introduced a declaration that we made together. We put it up on the screen, and read it out loud, declaring our confidence in a faithful God to be good and generous to us. It also pronounced a blessing over us as a congregation, and declared that we would be a blessing.

I know that may seem a little strange, but it was well received by most, and its positive effect could not be denied. Soon, people were coming in with testimonies that lined up with what we were declaring: "Jobs and better jobs; raises and bonuses; checks in the mail; debts destroyed!" Bonnie and I also experienced a little of this during this time - handfuls dropped on purpose by God.

Well, the season of me leading in this way ran its course, and wrapped up a few months ago. Yet, I've always known the Lord to be a generous Father. I had tried to impart that confidence to others, but not by giving away mine! So, several weeks ago, I was talking to the Lord about how I would appreciate a bonus at work.

I'm a computer programmer at a large local corporation, and, on occasion, my customers have blessed me with little tokens of appreciation, above and beyond my pay. I have four main projects that consume most of my time, working with a different set of people on each project. One of those projects has been quite intense since last fall, and those clients have told me they're pleased with the work done to-date.

So, I prayed, "I know I can't expect it, but a bonus related to that project would be greatly appreciated, Lord!" I prayed about it for a few days during my lunchtime chats with the Lord.

Sure enough, after that week's project meeting ended, I was approached by the project leader. He asked me coyly, "Have you seen anything in your paycheck from us?" "No, I haven't," I replied with a smile, "should I?" "Yes," he said, "we wanted to let you know how much we appreciate your hard work for us." Of course, I thanked him sincerely. Bonuses, by their very nature, are not to be expected. My clients keep me gainfully employed with interesting work, they don't owe me anything beyond that.

When I got back to my desk, I emailed the people that handle my direct deposit, asking if they knew of any bonus coming my way. "Yes," they replied, "it will be in your next bi-weekly pay." They forwarded to me the email directing them to give me the bonus. I was shocked: It was the biggest bonus I have ever gotten in all my years of programming - bigger than all of them combined!

Now that's a great testimony, isn't it? Well, there's more. My God "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us" (Eph 3:20) I said I work on a few primary projects. A day or so later, another project leader approached me after our weekly meeting ended. "Did you receive anything in your paycheck from us?" she asked "No, I haven't," I replied, "should I?" "Yes," she said, "we wanted to let you know how much we appreciate your hard work." "Thank you very much!" I replied.

You know the routine: I got back to my desk and emailed the administrative people again. "Did you receive paperwork on another bonus for me?" "Yes," they replied, "but we weren't ready to tell you. It's so big, we wanted to get confirmation on it first."

Within the hour, they forwarded me the latest email authorizing a bonus for me. It was 40% bigger than the first one!! Both of those marvelous bonuses showed up in the same paycheck - the very next paycheck after I asked the Lord for a bonus!

I am very thankful for my generous customers, and I am very thankful for my wonderful Lord and Savior. Amen!

© Matthew Schilling August 2017

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