God’s Promise For My Financial Crisis

Find God’s Promise For Your Need

It was 1982. I was 27 years old and my life was in shambles. A year and a half before I left a well-paying national sales manager job to be a manufacturer’s representative. I sub-leased a showroom in the prestigious 225 Fifth Avenue NY Gift Building and contracted to reimburse the previous tenant for the showroom improvements. My first year went well. I paid all my expenses and made a little money. Then the recession hit and everyone stopped buying gifts. When the lease ended in 1983 I was $100,000 in debt. In today’s money that’s about $240,000.

Ward showroom - God's promise

Ward Cushman in his NY showroom in 1981. The apron was prophetic.

I was a Christian but I wasn’t walking with God. I occasionally went to church and prayed from time to time. Doesn’t everyone? When my world crashed I turned back to God.

After I closed the showroom I approached those I owed money and asked them to forgive the debt. Yep, I really did that. They all said no. They would all be patient and allow me whatever time I needed to pay it off. I purposed to pay it all off no matter how long it took.

I’d grown up in church, had spent a couple of years in Bible college and knew how to live the Christian life. But I didn’t know how to face such an overwhelming personal financial crisis. Sleep was the only time I felt relief from the emotional burden of the debt. Part of my struggle was that the recession wasn’t the only reason for the debt. I’d taken some risks and made bad decisions that contributed to my failure.

I started attending church regularly. I got back to reading my Bible and praying. However, I didn’t know how to pray about the debt. I felt the debt was my fault and to some extent it was. I didn’t pray, “Father, please help me pay off this debt” because I didn’t know if I had the right to pray that. I know that seems strange to some of you but many people feel that way about problems. I needed God’s promise for me, guidance from God’s Word, something that told me it was okay to ask God to get me out of my mess. Days and weeks went by as I sought an answer to that question. One day I found it.

God’s Promise for Me

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

As I read the verse it struck me that it didn’t say God would only meet your need if it wasn’t your fault. It just had to be a need. That was me!

I had been thinking of God as a cop whose job was to catch people who did wrong. Instead I began to think of Him as a doctor who heals people. When a person goes into the hospital with a bullet wound the doctor doesn’t ask why he got shot. He doesn’t ask if the patient deserved it. He doesn’t say he will only help if it wasn’t the patient’s fault. The patient has a need and the doctor meets the need.

From that moment on I understood that when I have a need I can go to Him as His child and ask Him to meet my need. And so I did. I didn’t know how it was going to happen but from that moment on I claimed that verse, Philippians 4:19, as my promise. I began to pray every day, “Father, please help me pay off this debt.”

In my next post I’m going to share with you the amazing way God paid off that debt in less time than I ever thought possible!

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