If you read About a Year ago you know in April 2014 we won a million dollars in the lottery. I want to re-iterate that I am not telling anyone to run out and buy lottery tickets, just sharing how God answers prayers in the most unusual way.
When we won last year I prayed about what to to with the money and three scriptures kept coming to mind.
In Exodus 16 God provides manna for each day and the Israelites were told to only gather enough for each day-he would provide for the days to come.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Matthew 6:34
With these truths from God’s Word on our hearts we believed God was telling us three things.
1. God was providing funds for us to use today, not to hoard for later.
2. There were many in need and we were to bless those in need, every time we did, we blessed Jesus too.
3. We were not to worry about tomorrow because God would provide for us when we got there.
We had well meaning family and friends telling us that we needed to invest for our retirement. Our hearts kept telling us what good would it be if we had money for retirement down the road if our neighbor was hungry or struggling financially or riding on bald tires. When Jesus calls me home how would I answer Him when He asked “Why didn’t you help me?” What ever you did for the least of these you did for me kept ringing in my head.
That is not to say that everyone that had a need, we filled. Honestly, there were some situations that I wanted to provide for and after praying I got the feeling that it wasn’t our need to fill. Other times I was ready to write out a check for something and I distinctly heard “Do you REALLY trust me? Double it!” and in obedience I did double it. I would love to say that I heeded every call to give but there were a couple of times I did fall short, in my flesh I balked. I’m not proud of that but I am being honest. It was an amazing year, being able to bless others in big ways with no expectation of anything being returned. This was the beautiful side of getting an amazing windfall.
The not so amazing side was seeing some people for who they really are. You can tell where people have their priorities. Some quietly told us how happy they were that we won because they knew we would do the right thing with the money. Others though, still, a year later refer to me as the woman who won a million dollars and think, still has a million dollars. First to set the record straight, you only have a million on paper, as soon as you submit that lottery ticket you no longer have a million. Sure, they took a picture of me and Bill holding a big check that said a million dollars but when you receive the check it has the taxes out. We left the lottery office with a check for $680,000. Once we tithed, blessed others, paid back those we owed, credit cards, our mortgage, made much needed home repairs, got new vehicles and some toys to make life easier there was very little left and the IRS took what was left of that! People are very surprised when I say “we gave most of it away” and sadly, the next thing some people will say is “Well you didn’t give me any!!” It’s said with a very negative, jealous, envious tone. A lot of ugly comments were made out of envy and jealousy.
I hate to be in the spot light. I am grateful that others have won and we are yesterday’s story. I cringe when I hear someone I thought was a friend shout across Walmart-“How’s the millionaire doing?” I don’t want to be remembered for winning the lottery-I want to be remembered as someone who loves and trusts Jesus, tries to share that love with others and blessed and still blesses others out of what God has provided us.
My dreamer husband still plays the lottery-dreaming of how many we can bless since we have little debt. Only God knows!