This is my first story of how God showed me the power of prayer, and taught my girls that He cared about their hearts.
The lead up to this story is that we were saving to go to a Missionary School in Africa. We knew that it would take a miracle from God to get us there, and we also had to do whatever we could to work towards our dream.
So we began to plan all the ways we might be able to save money. The first thing we could reduce was our grocery bill. I wrote a list of items we needed and estimated the cost, anything that caused us to go over our budget had to be cut off the list.
We were very fortunate to live in a suburb that had a food co-op, which is a store that sells cheaper meals and clearance items. There was one food co-op in Daveron Park and one in Elizabeth Downs. If you shopped there exclusively, you could potentially only spend $70 on food per week for a family of our size. Each time you shopped there, you could get 2 loaves of free bread and sometimes a bag of free fruit or vegetables.
This particular week I had done my grocery list and wanted to make a basic homemade pizza. I love pineapple and added that to the list; however it made the budget go over the set amount – so it was cut off the final draft of the list.
As I was writing the shopping list, my daughter Lylah asked if we could get some strawberries. She loves strawberries! I was really disappointed, and I told her that if she wanted strawberries, she would have to pray for them. Now, I confess, I didn’t actually think that she would get the strawberries. You know that as a parent you sometimes say things without thinking? Well, the prayer comment wasn’t thought out before I said it. Once I said it, I got worried. I definitely wanted my girls to know about the power of prayer, and now they could potentially be let down. I knew that God could give her strawberries, but it seemed unrealistic and almost impossible at this point. So I silently prayed – very passionately to God, pleading that He would answer this prayer and help show my girls that He cared about their requests.
That day was a Monday, and I decided to go to the Elizabeth Downs food co-op because I knew that it would be the day to get a bag of free fruit or vegetables. I had no hope of getting strawberries there, as they rarely sold them- let alone give them away. I went up to the free vegetable table, and felt a little disappointed as the range was slightly limited that day. All of a sudden, I heard Lylah say “strawberries!” I turned around and behind me was a table set up with punnets of free strawberries, “2 free punnets per family”. I was blown away. I knew instantly that God had moved on our behalf, and answered the prayer of my innocent almost 3 year old daughter. My spirit was filled with joy! I asked Lylah: “Who got you the strawberries?” and she replied: “God!!” I couldn’t help praising God and was in awe that God would care enough to provide strawberries for us. I paid for my shopping, and calculated that I had $2.40 left.
I headed towards home, and was still experiencing a spiritual high – full of joy. As I was intending to turn towards home, I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to go to the other food co-op in Daveron Park. I thought this was a ridiculous idea, as I only had $2.40 left and couldn’t buy much. But God kept prompting my spirit to go, so I did it in faith – although I was silently telling God that I couldn’t see much point.
As I got out of the car I was trying to decide whether I should bring in my plastic bag. My brain told me not to bother, after all $2.40 worth isn’t exactly going to be hard to carry. Then I felt God speak to my heart: “Bring 2 bags”. I was concerned that I would seem silly bringing in 2 bags to the shops, and then only buying one small item (if something was on clearance), but by this point God had being teaching me to listen to His small promptings. So, in faith, I walked in with my 2 bags.
Some yoghurt was on clearance for $2, and I was happy because my kids all love yoghurt. I casually talked with the check out lady, who had gotten to know our family. She told me to help myself to 2 loaves of free bread and 2 bags of free vegetables, as they had to get rid of them by the end of the day. As I was about to pay for the yoghurt, I noticed in the clearance section they were selling pineapple pieces in a small pouch for .40 cents. On the package it said “Ideal for pizzas!” Ha-ha It was the pineapple I had crossed off my list for homemade pizza. God had exceeded my expectations. My items came to exactly $2.40, and perfectly filled my 2 bags full.
I could feel the Lord almost smiling down on us that day, enjoying the lesson He was teaching me. I think God would have also enjoyed my reaction, and the pure surprise I experienced that day. He had given us free strawberries for Lylah, and provided cheap pineapple pieces. God lead me to the second co-op and I filled 2 bags full of groceries for $2.40.
God is good!
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.