I need to start out by saying that I believe in miracles. I have had enough of them to know that they truly exist. The Lord has performed many miracles in my life and I’ve relayed some of a particular kind here. I enjoyed writing this article because it brings back many memories that have helped build my faith in God (Yeshua).
Since my husband and I chose to leave the city to live in a small town, finances have been rather tight for our family. That’s okay because I have had to pray for things I want and need rather than just go buy them. I have learned to be very patient, to sympathize with others, and not to rely on myself or my husband to meet our own needs. It never ceases to amaze me in how the Lord always provides, as you will see in the following paragraphs.
I have learned to shop at thrift stores before paying full-price for high quality items. One can find items, in excellent condition, at thrift stores if the timing is right. We’ve saved bundles of cash by doing this. Through the years I’ve had some thrift store miracles.
One thrift store experience led me to always pray for the items I am specifically wanting or needing before entering a thrift store. This incident happened while I was working on my Master’s Degree and attending a university one summer. I lived in on-campus housing with one of my sons and my mother-in-law. I walked across campus to class every morning. As I was walking one day, I saw a girl wearing a long denim skirt. The skirt was figure-fitting with a little slit in the back. In my mind I said to the Lord, “Lord, I would like to have a skirt like that.” Later that day, I hauled my mother-in-law and toddler son to the local Goodwill. Sadly, it was a stifling day and the air-conditioner in the store was broken. We headed toward the toys and kitchen gadgets first. After looking around in that section until we could no longer stand the heat, I decided to run by the women’s clothing as we were leaving. I thought I’d quickly look at items that were my size, but I knew I had to be quick because my mother-in-law and son were becoming miserable quickly. As I walked toward the racks, I saw a denim skirt, just like I’d seen on the girl across campus. I grabbed it and quickly looked at the size. It was my size! I quickly purchased it.
Another time my oldest son needed dress shoes for a school program. Our local Wal-Mart (the only clothing place for miles) doesn’t always have his size. I prayed before I went into the thrift store and headed toward the shoes. I found a snazzy pair in exactly his size.
One very memorable thrift store miracle took place as we were leaving town one winter, heading toward the airport to fly away for vacation. Earlier, I had noticed that a son’s coat was getting too small or raggedy looking. I told the Lord I’d like him to have a coat just like my older son’s. I meant that I wanted it to look brand-new and fashionable. I did not have time to really shop for one, so I begged my husband to make a quick stop at our local thrift store on the way out of town, just so I could run in to see if there was any nice coat there that would fit him. As soon as I walked in the door, I spotted a coat identical to my older son’s coat, in just my little one’s size. It was a brand-new looking Broncos coat. I don’t often dress my sons alike, but it sure was neat for them to have matching coats.
I still wear flannel pajamas that I got at a thrift store. I prayed for flannel pajamas once. I really didn’t expect to find any, but I did. They are blue with clouds and little sheep on them. I told my kids how I’d gotten them and relayed that I thought it was comical that the Lord provided ones with sheep on them since He is the shepherd and we are the sheep.
One thing the Lord tells us to do is, “wait on Him.” I’m not always good at that and have regretted it at times. Once I ordered a nice pair of tennis shoes for my son, online. It was very cold out that day and I did not want to go to the thrift store to look for a pair. The very next day, I found a pair in his size for $4 that I’d wanted to order for him, but didn’t because I felt they were too expensive. I’d ordered a cheaper pair. He ended up with both pairs.
After praying for weeks, I once found an oak table with 5 chairs for $20. It needed some work, but that’s ok.
So my advice to others is to always say a little prayer before you enter a thrift store. I try to pray only for things I think I need, but sometimes the Lord surprises me with things I don’t need. I believe He does that to let me know that He not only cares about my needs, He enjoys making me happy. When He does this, it’s like getting a love note from your spouse.