God's Math: December
The Promise Did Not Say “Maybe”
By Robert L. Davidson
Seven years and three children after Lenna Lee and I were married, our church in Tulsa decided it was time to build a new church. It is well known that young couples seldom have extra funds lying around for philanthropic projects. We were no exception. Our family budget was very tight. However, we wanted to do our part to contribute to the new building.
After much prayer we made a covenant with God and made a three-year pledge to help fund the building. We claimed the promise in Philippians 4:19 that God would supply all our needs. We noted that the promise did not say “maybe.” In our reasoning we planned to raise the money through my work, because we were committed that Lenna Lee, a nurse, should be home with the children. However, we were prepared, if necessary, for Lenna Lee to go back to her nursing work just long enough to pay our pledge. Yet we trusted that God would honor our commitment to our children just as we were determined to honor our pledge to the church.
Not long after this my brother-in-law suggested that I apply for work at Douglas Aircraft Company. I was not sure I wanted to be employed by Douglas. They were highly dependent on government contracts, which meant that work was here today and gone tomorrow.
After worship one evening I told Lenna Lee about Douglas, and we decided that maybe this was God’s plan to meet our pledge. I applied. In filling out the form, I was to sign a statement saying that I would work any day or hour assigned. I could not sign it and honor God’s Sabbath. I left it blank.
The next day I completed the required physical examination and turned in the application form to work at Douglas. The man in charge told me that I needed to sign the statement I had left blank. When I told him I couldn’t because of God’s Sabbath, he became angry. After much discussion, I told him I was sorry I had wasted his time and that he had wasted my time. Suddenly his attitude changed, and he asked me to sit in the waiting room.
A short time later I was called in and asked to approve my application form. Stapled over the statement about working any day was another typed statement that read, “Due to religious convictions, this employee will not be required to work from Friday sundown until Saturday sundown.” I signed on to work at Douglas. The increase in salary would be just enough to keep up with our church pledge and return the extra tithe.
I had worked only a few months when Douglas lost a major contract and began laying off workers. There were 23 in my department of math and engineering, and I was “low man.” Every time the pink slips arrived, I expected to be laid off, but each time someone would either quit or move to another department. I continued to work, even with some overtime, for more than three years. When my pink slip finally came, only two of us were left—my boss and myself. By that time we had finished paying our church pledge. I had finished my teaching degree, and I was able to start teaching at Tulsa Junior Academy.
“Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Proberbs 3:9, 10