I've paid a 10% tithe for as long as I can remember. From my earliest paid chores for Mom, to babysitting in my teenage years, to adult-wage jobs, tithing is always the first check written, without much thought. (Admittedly, every once in a while, I do think, "Wow. That is a lot of money." But I don't allow myself to go much further down that path. I just pay it.)
This week, because of wonky summer schedules, Justin's paycheck was a full 25% less than a normal paycheck. In the course of the month, that discrepancy will be corrected, but for this two-week block, it meant we were in a bit of trouble. (This is where an emergency fund comes in handy, but on the heels of paying for a baby delivery and the removal of wisdom teeth in the last few weeks, it was nonexistent.)
It happens that our mortgage, student loan payments, and insurance premiums all come out of this paycheck.
Oh, and property taxes are due.
If I paid the tithing, there would not be enough money for our bills, much less gas or food.
I paid the tithing.
Within two days, we received $200 worth of "surplus" chicken breast . . .
from two different sources.
And when I went to pay the property tax, it was discovered that our mortgage company had already paid it!
Because of the end-of-year timing of the completion of the house, they weren't going to start tax payments until next year.
I guess they changed their minds.
Sometimes, the benefit of tithing looks like tires that live beyond their expected lifespan.
Sometimes, it looks like a steady job.
But sometimes, it is literal food in the fridge and unexpected money in the wallet.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.