February 13, 2018
I Couldn't Believe God WANTED me to Test Him!
The story I'm about to tell you is absolutely TRUE.
I am not exaggerating any of it!
This was only five years ago. My wife, Derene and I had a HUGE SKUNK PROBLEM!
We couldn't get rid of these skunks under our house and it lasted four long years. It was SKUNK. Let me explain...
Skunks invaded us -under our home- about 10 years ago when I was literally bed-ridden. I'd been really sick and it took the doctors 4 years to discover why I couldn't eat and why I was losing so much weight. Long story short, finally the infected mass in my sinuses was discovered and 5 surgeries later I was "cured."
But the 4-year saga of the skunks was not solved. And this just happening, I'm not kidding... Every Sunday night, at 7pm Pacific Standard time, the skunks started fighting and then suddenly they would spray under the house and that smell would come wafting up and out, through the wood floors and through the broken down heating ducts, all over our house and into our furniture.
It was HORRIBLE!
But, each year they would leave when the weather warmed up.
After the first year, I said, "They're finally gone!" But they weren't!
I couldn't go out and patch the hole under the house but "there's no need now," I thought. I was wrong. For 3 more years, as winter hit, so did the skunks. I would only later discover that this is the habit of skunks. Once they find a winter home, they come back... every winter.
When, after my surgeries, I was finally up and around the Lord gave me some clever ideas for trapping these skunks and finally, finally, finally the skunks were not going to bother us ever again!
But the house was a mess. Ruined was all the heating and air conditioner ducting. Destroyed was all the insulation underneath the house. Underneath the house and in all the heating and air conditioning system, everything was permeated with skunk odors. And the expensive heat pump outside the house was destroyed too.
For weeks and weeks, I contended with the insurance company to pay for the damages. "We don't cover damage by 'vermin,' the agent said. "Skunks are 'vermin'. It says so in your Home Owner's policy."
Time and again I would find a technicality that would help them to pay for the damages which would cost me many thousands. Every time I was met with, "No, Mr. Shultz, our insurance company is not going to cover those skunk damages."
Now, here is where it gets interesting...
A few weeks after this last rejection, Derene and I were at our local church and she was writing out our tithe check. For reasons I no long remember, as I was sitting there, I decided to calculate our tithe and offering giving for the year that was more than half over. We'd been giving more and more generously with each passing month and our offerings to other Christian ministries was way up but we had not budgeted for that giving. We just gave as we felt led.
To my amazement, I realized we were at an all-time high-- never in our lives had we given so much to the Lord in both tithes and offerings. Suddenly it occurred to me, that God had PROMISED this to His People...
10 "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. 'Test me in this,' says the LORD Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.'"
Now it gets good...
At that moment I realized I'd always trusted the Lord to be faithful- and He had been faithful. But, I had a LOT more room for blessings than what I've received and He said there would NOT BE ROOM enough to store it!
And one more thing...
He said we were supposed to "TEST HIM IN THIS."
Well, I'd trusted Him, remember? But He said, "TEST ME IN THIS!" I'd NEVER TESTED HIM...
I leaned over and stated my whole case to Derene the way I just explained it to you. I asked her in a whisper, "So should we TEST HIM on this? And if we do, should we test Him with the SKUNK situation?"
"Absolutely!" Derene whispered back.
"Ok then!" I said. Then we bowed our heads and I whispered a prayer, "Lord we are testing You with the skunk damage under our house...our TEST to You is that You will take care of the SKUNK DAMAGE UNDER OUR HOUSE."
So it was "on" with the Lord. Here's the rest of the story...
Monday morning, I got on the phone with my insurance agent ONCE AGAIN. I told him I wanted to talk to him again about the SKUNK DAMAGE.
There was a moment of silence. I thought, "Here we go..."
"Well, Mr. Shultz, do you WANT me to submit a claim for this?"
"Yes, I sure do!" I couldn't believe what I had just heard.
"Ok!" He said.
WHAT??? "That's it?" I thought. I can't believe this!
To make a long story short, the insurance company paid every last penny of the damage. It was MANY thousands of dollars. We ended up with a whole new air conditioning unit, new air conditioning ducts, new insulation, new moisture barrier and much more. PLUS the poor guys who came out had to wear masks so they could breathe as they meticulously removed all the stinky, wet skunk-permeated material. Even though they were being paid handsomely, I still felt sorry for them.
Now, God didn't say it out loud but it was as if God had said, "I TOLD MY PEOPLE TO TEST ME IN THIS!"
I want you all to test the Lord more with your generous giving. Pick a project and test Him. I can't say your answer will look exactly like mine. God is very creative in the way He answers every prayer! But I would certainly encourage you to test Him.
WHILE I HAVE YOU HERE.
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Albany, OR 97321