A week or so ago my school, Stoneybrooke had its 30th anniversary celebration. We were focused on the 3000 kids that have wandered down our halls, so we called it “The Legacy Celebration.” We were marking the blessings of the past three decades but also looking forward to the great things ahead.
In the midst of all the celebrating, we also needed to ask for some significant donations to help with the needs of the school. And to make things a bit tougher, we were focused on operational needs. Not too glamorous, but so necessary.
In that context, I was fussing. Based on our current budget, we desperately needed to bring in at least $150,000. We had designed a system of collecting gifts and pledges. We had cards on the tables and once you made your intentions known, only the gift showed through. We intended to collect the envelopes, add up what showed through the window. We had a PowerPoint set up that would show the goal and track our progress toward it. Pretty scary to do in front of your constituents!
Because of some circumstances I noted during the evening, I kept lowering the goal. $150,000 down to $125,000 and then $100,000. I knew what was going on behind the scenes and I knew we absolutely had to surpass the goal- smash it so we could create school wide enthusiasm. And my fearful thoughts were running rampant.
Now, let’s pause and make sure you too acknowledge situations where you muddle around in fear too…..
Well, it was right then that the Gideon Principle began to unfold right before all of our eyes. You remember the Gideon Principle: Israel needed a warrior to lead them into battle. Gideon gathered 32,000 fighting men for the job. But God surveyed the resources and told Gideon to let all those who were frightened in any way to go on home. 22,000 of them scampered away. That left 10,000 to face a very powerful foe. God reassessed the size of the army and set up a simple test. Those who stooped to drink while keeping an eye out for the enemy got to stay, everyone else was sent home.
Now Gideon only has 300 guys to depend on. If there is a victory, it had to come directly from God’s intervention. And intervene He certainly did. Read the account in Judges 7…and marvel at His “strategic” plan.
Now back to our banquet. Within no more than 15-20 minutes, the cards were collected, sub-totaled and announced. The lower goal of $100,000 was surpassed in just moments. Then the goal of $200,000 was smashed. Minutes later, we flew by $300,000. When the dust all settled this week, the gifts and pledges were $326,000! Three times my limited goal and twice as much as we hoped for!
The Gideon Principle was at work. Our Lord just wanted to make sure that it was absolutely obvious that He and He alone controls the finances of our school. Hard work and planning has an important role in life, but in the end, God does things His way. And then He and He alone gets the glory!
Suggestion, let’s all put ourselves in a situation this week that requires God to show up and then when He does (and He will!) let’s enjoy our part – grinning from ear to ear!
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel