Have you ever been in dire circumstances? I’m delighted to have David Miller on the blog today. He is sharing a testimony today of God’s faithfulness when he was in need. Read “My Everything” and be encouraged!
In 2010, I undertook perhaps the most ambitious project of my lifetime, coordinating the marketing efforts for an Indiana-based corporate wellness company. Early efforts in 4 major US cities (Portland, Honolulu, Atlanta, Nashville) during the beta-phase of the project were achieving critical traction and laid the foundation for a national campaign that would be spearheaded from Charlotte in 2011.
Charlotte was the hub of the project because most of the key players on this project from the insurance world were based in the “Queen City”. One key player, however, who I had known for several years in Portland, proved to be the disastrous “Achilles heel” in this project. It would only be after arriving in Charlotte in Spring of 2011 that I would discover that my business partner from Portland had forfeited credibility for the project through fraud and misrepresentation – most of the key players would back out of the project before May.
My wife and I sought God for direction – we had just basically downsized our entire financial footprint only months earlier in obedience to His call to “let go” and trust Him into a new season of service. We had also sunk our “all” into this one opportunity – it was one of those “do or die” moments.
Then the storms arrived – literally – and one of them nearly destroyed our sole automobile with softball-sized hail. Once we had finished our event obligations in Charlotte, we learned that up-front guaranteed contract pay would go away immediately so we took a self-imposed time-out trip to the South Carolina coast to pray about whether to stay in the South and attempt to rescue the project and stand by our business friends in Indiana, or exit stage-left and zip back out West for a reset.
While in Myrtle Beach, our condo was ransacked and all our business equipment, electronics, and personal valuables were stolen while we were out to dinner. Like never before, we knew we were in the apex of a cataclysmic spiritual conflict and we discerned that the Enemy wanted us to fearfully run and hide…far from what “might be” in the coming weeks and months in Charlotte.
We knew this was about things far more important than business and we certainly had zoomed well past business as usual.
So we knew in our hearts what God was asking us to do and with less than $100 in our pocket, we chose to stand our ground and stay in Charlotte.
The marketing project looked like it would fly once again by Thanksgiving 2011, but an abrupt “about-face” by a national carrier in December was the final nail in the coffin. Suddenly, my wife Cheri picked up a new domestic client as a professional Nanny and by January it was becoming clear that God was asking me to simply just work for Him – not in some kind of formal Christian Executive slot or in a local church, but rather through my writing, my coaching and mentoring . . all “volunteer” type activity.
God was asking us to trust Him way beyond our comfort zone and to do so far from home…but wait, there was no more “home”…that had been sold along with 90% of our earthly possessions. In a strange way, while we were certainly being stretched, we were also free like never before because it was just us…and Jesus.
Sounds like a cliche I’m sure…but when you get there and find yourself on a “road to nowhere” journey…you amazingly discover He is our “enough”.
As we navigated through 2012 in Charlotte, provision would come in the most unexpected ways: our monthly rent was anonymously paid one month, the kitchen was spontaneously stocked by friends in a local church who really had no idea how bare our “cupboard” really was…one day, a local Christian businessman called to inform us that God had told Him to give us a check…and it turned out to be a massive check.
It was during this exact time that LifeLetter Cafe as we know it today was birthed – what began as a simple website collaboration with some Christian business folks in Charlotte so I could “land” nearly ten years of my own writing content in one spot…turned into the launch of a blog platform that today supports and promotes more than 320 amazing Christian thought leaders, including dozens and dozens of pastors.
The fog had begun to clear: God was asking Cheri and me to come alongside and encourage those who speak boldly for His name and do so from our “empty”…so empty in fact that Christmas would for the second year in a row in Charlotte not be Christmas. No family, no festivities, no parties, no gifts, no anything…except a $10 dinner at McDonald’s on Christmas day – and even that was a splurge.
We chose to close our 2012 by making a somewhat unusual commitment – we made ourselves available for a massive Church outreach that included 17 performances over ten days and gobs of hours. It was all we could give, but we gave from a deep well of gratitude even though we ached for a new season of life and stability.
The outreach was amazing – we saw hundreds receive Christ and we got to worship in a way that maybe counts just a little more than that thing we normally call “worship” on Sundays. We locked arms with dozens of volunteers and celebrated God’s victories on Christmas Eve after the final performance…and then headed out to the parking lot.
In our minds, we were grateful for what we just experienced but we also dreaded returning to the cold and empty apartment that would be our Christmas home.
And then we noticed a clear bag taped to our windshield. This seemed really strange on this wet and wintry Christmas Eve. We jumped inside our SUV and opened the bag only to discover a card containing $2,012.00 as a remembrance of God’s faithfulness in 2012 with no signature or clue as to who might be the giver.
We melted and sobbed tears of joy.
Sometimes God takes you to the place of nothing so you can be reminded that He is our only thing and our everything. In the very moment when we felt like we were holding nothing, we discovered what it is like to be held in His hands.
I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! Isaiah 65:24 NLT
David “JB” Miller is founder and Chief Encouragement Officer at LifeLetter Ministries. He and his wife Cheri make their home in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona and have six children and six grandchildren they absolutely adore.
David is a graduate of both Simpson University and Talbot School of Theology (Biola) where he was awarded degrees in Theology (M. Div.) and Communications (B.A.). He served in pastoral ministry in the Christian & Missionary Alliance for 22 years (ordained in 1987). He has been active in numerous non-profit ministries and community outreach programs. He also has been a small business consultant since 2004, specializing in boutique lodging, human capital risk management and business development services.
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Don’t miss the other great posts in the Power of God series:
- Experiencing the Miraculous Power of God
- Like Moses, We Can Get Used to Using God’s Power
- God’s Power Defies What Is False
- How God’s Greatest Power Was in the Suffering of the Cross
- A Testimony of God’s Power of Provision
- Prayer Is a Conduit to God’s Power
- God’s Healing Power Is for You
- Live Empowered: the Holy Spirit Moves through Us