If you know me well, you know that if I find a penny on the ground, I will hand it to you and say, “Don’t forget. God provides.”
You might be tempted to look at me out of the corner of your eye with that “OK, thanks, I guess. What happened to the traditional, ‘Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck’ rhyme?”
When I was in college, I attended a women’s bible study led by an authentic, compassionate woman who loved teaching about the Lord. She felt such a calling to teach and lead women that she left her job to start a women’s ministry in Nashville. She spoke about the risk involved in this decision especially in terms of a regular paycheck. Some months she wasn’t sure if there would be enough money to pay all of her bills, but week after week, month after month, there was always enough. She still experienced days of worry when she questioned her decision and wondered if she was doing the right thing. One day in particular, she felt especially hopeless. As she tried to convince herself that a 9-5 job would be so much easier, she looked down and spotted a penny on the ground. As she bent down to pick up the coin, she heard in her head, “God provides.” She shook her head and walked to her apartment. Waiting at her door was a bag full of groceries and a note of encouragement from a woman she hardly knew. A note was attached:, “I hope you don’t think this is strange, but I was at the store and felt like I should share these groceries with you for some reason…”
And so it began. Coins became a great reminder that God would help if she continued to trust Him. This didn’t mean that she would have all of the material things she could ever want. It didn’t mean she would never wonder about how she would pay her bills, but over and over again, she saw the truth in those two words, and she began to trust that God would provide for her.
I watched firsthand what it looked like for someone else to trust God and to see Him provide in ways that I never imagined possible. Every time I spotted a coin, I reminded myself that “God provides.” My girls roll their eyes a bit whenever we are walking in the street, and I find a dime.
I gleefully do a little dance (for their benefit of course) and as I hand one of them the coin, I say, “Girls, you know what this means!”
They respond in that “WE KNOW, MOM” voice and indulge me a bit with “God provides,” but they giggle a little too, and they are also learning that it’s true. Not that God provides everything they want, but He will give them what they need.
We have seen it on the days when everything happened just like we hoped, but we have also seen it during times of struggle, days of uncertainty, and moments of loss. Even in seasons when we looked at each other through our tears and wondered about unexplainable suffering in the lives of those we love, we have been comforted by countless stories of God being close in the darkest moments.
Hoping the next time you find a penny, you might be reminded of something more than luck.