Alright, maybe I'm exaggerating a little. I'll tell the story and you can decide for yourself:
Two weeks ago, I got an e-mail from a local marketing research company, asking if I wanted to earn $85 for chewing gum and answering questions about the aforementioned experience. (No, I kid you not - this is totally legit. And if they start paying people to take naps, I will quit my day job.) So I happily agreed to do it, thinking that I was finally going to be able to squirrel something away towards the kids' Christmas presents.
Well, this past Monday evening we got around to opening some mail that had been sitting on the counter: a camera had caught me running a red light (I didn't remember it at the time, but it's hard to argue with photographic evidence), and I would need to pay the $100 fine within seven days. Mind you, it will be 14 days until the next paycheck - and my family LITERALLY lives paycheck to paycheck. (Just part of the glitz and glamour of working in education.) I didn't want to be driving around for a week with that outstanding fine...couldn't I have been arrested?
But that's not even an issue now, because the Lord allowed me to spend the past two evenings reading a good book as I chewed different gums and periodically stopped to rate them! No, I can't put that money back towards Christmas presents; but He gave me what I need for the present moment. How amazing of Him - looking into my future, seeing the need that would arise, and arranging the circumstances to have it met at just the right moment.
And isn't that what Jesus taught us to pray for, "Father, give us this day our daily bread?" He rarely sends it a moment before the deadline, but He sends it.
Objection: "There have been a lot of things I've needed, that I've begged the Lord to send me; but they never came."
FAITH's Answer: "Then what you were asking for, was not what you actually needed, what you couldn't go without. And the fact that you're here to voice the objection demonstrates the truth of this answer. You've had your daily bread."
With all the struggles that we face, we have so much more to be grateful to God for. It's little events like "not going to jail" that bring it home to me. Mind you, that's not to say that God won't someday bring me to the point where I could survive a stint in the can...and then...this blog will have a whole host of new happenings to reflect upon - time in the yard, shivs, gang signs, cavity searches, digging an escape tunnel, etc., etc.