I like to take the time to pick up lost pennies. But one day, I found more than a penny. Actually, it found me.
It wasn’t on a sidewalk, but in a church while I was on a mission trip in my home state of Oregon. On the fourth day of our trip, I woke up and read Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” I felt God tell me that He was serious about that. He meant to give my team and me things we asked for by grace, in faith, and in His Name. He wanted the things of His kingdom to be received, found, and opened.
Lord, what does that look like? I prayed. Teach me today.
Later that day, the team was having a meeting in our host church’s office. Before the meeting began, a team member, Jared, showed me a Bible verse that had struck him that morning. He was reading it from one translation, and I got curious about how the verse read in another. I walked over to the church’s shelf of donated Bibles. A baby-pink Bible, spine all worn, caught my eye.
When I sat back down on the couch and flipped it open, a crisp and perfectly folded hundred-dollar bill fell from the pages. Who knows where it came from?
I took it to the pastor. “Um, Pastor Jim, this just fell from a spare Bible.” I tried to give it to him.
“No, no,” he said with a grin, pushing it back into my hand. “Keep it. I believe God has something for you to do with it.”
As the meeting began, I tucked it away in my red wallet.
Two days later, on a rainy afternoon in downtown Portland, we had a two-hour time slot to go out on the streets and pray for anyone the Lord led us to. I grabbed my purse, an umbrella, and a simple drawing of the word “freedom” with flying birds in the middle that I’d drawn the night before. Then, along with two team members, Lindy and Michael, I started walking toward the waterfront.
“Lord, lead us,” we prayed out loud. “Show us who You want to minister to today.”
We walked two blocks when a woman caught our eye. And then we caught hers.
“Excuse me!” she cried to us. “Do you know where Pioneer Square is?”
“Are you new around here?” we asked.
“Yes,” she said.
Michael, who was familiar with the city, gave her directions to the square. But since it seemed God had highlighted her to us or us to her—however that had worked—we knew we were supposed to keep talking with her.
“What’s your name?”
“Leah,” she replied.
“What brought you to Portland?”
Leah told us she’d just been released after four years in prison. She also told us she’d become a Christian and was basically homeless, in need of a job, looking for a fresh start, and seeking a church to fellowship in.
Lindy asked Leah if we could pray for her.
She said yes.
As we started praying for her right there in the hustle-bustle of the streets, she started tearing up. After a few minutes of praying, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the money in my wallet.
“Leah,” I said, “I have something to give you.”
I first gave her my umbrella, and then the picture that said “freedom,” and finally the hundred-dollar bill. When she received it, she started crying even more. It looked like God had given her a hug that nearly knocked her over.
“No way!” she finally said. “You won’t believe this.”
Leah told us that earlier on that very morning, an old friend from her past life had contacted her, asking her to help with a drug deal. It would have been a $200 deal, and she would have been paid half.
“But I refused to do it,” she told us. “I told God, ‘No, I am not going to do this. I believe You will provide for me.’ ”
We were speechless. “Leah, God loves you!” we said.
“I know,” she said, through tears, as if realizing it afresh.
I’ll never forget the beautiful smile beaming from her face as she recognized that her heavenly Father heard her prayers, knew her heart, honored her faith and obedience, and had miraculously provided for her—all in one day.
And God answered my prayer to teach me more about what it looks like to live out His kingdom—a kingdom with endless storehouses of things to be readily received, found, and opened.
Be inspired by more stories of the miraculous in Amazing Modern-Day Miracles.