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Unnatural Solution to Church's Money Problems

There's an old stewardship story that circuates among preachers.

There once was a pastor, who had been praying faithfully, night and day, for a solution to his church’s financial difficulties. One day, he looked up from his prayers in astonishment. “I have heard your prayers,” said the vision of the Lord now standing before him, “and I will grant your request: all the financial problems of your church will be solved. I have but one question for you: would you prefer a natural or supernatural solution to your problem?”

The pastor, a truly humble servant, replied, “Thank you, Lord, but I could never ask for a miracle, for that might draw attention to me. Please solve our church’s problem in a natural way.”

With that, the pastor looked up, and saw that the entire room was filled with stacks of hundred dollar bills, bars of gold, piles of diamonds, more wealth than he could possibly imagine. He was overwhelmed, and baffled at the same time; and so he prayed once again to God, “I’m very pleased about this, Lord, and please don’t misunderstand me, but I thought I asked for the natural solution.”

“That is the natural solution,” God replied. “The supernatural solution would have been for everyone in your church to have made a dramatic increase in their giving.”

- Rob Elder, "All Hands," a sermon on Exodus 17:8-16, November 20, 2011.