What is a reasonable length of time for your home to sell? 1 month? 3 months? 6 months at the most?
When God asked our family to move from Leeton in NSW, to Melbourne, we didn’t foresee just how much we would need to trust Him. It was really difficult to understand what He was doing and VERY frustrating. However, looking back, I can see His fingerprints. He was growing us. We learned to be patient. We learned to be better stewards of our finances. We learned to trust Him.
We listed our home for sale in October 2006; thinking that it would sell fairly quickly and that we’d be able to purchase a new home, in Melbourne, within about 6 months.
Then the drought hit! Leeton is in the heart of the Riverina, NSW. It is the home of Sunrise (where all of the rice in your pantry comes from) and it is also known for its citrus and wine industry. Consequently, the drought had a significant impact on the property market in the town. Unfortunately, we listed our house about one month too late.
No interest was expressed in our home for months and so we decided that, in order to pay rent in Melbourne, as well as our mortgage in Leeton, we needed to find a tenant to help alleviate the financial burden that it was becoming.
For about 8 years, we periodically listed it for sale, took it off the market for a time and then tried again. The house was mostly leased during this 8 year time period. However, there were times when we had no tenant and therefore, no rental income to contribute to the mortgage.
Over that time we also watched property prices in Melbourne sky-rocket – as well as the rental market! Very frustrating and so disappointing!
I used to wonder, ‘Where is God in all of this?’
Whenever I prayed about our situation, I felt God tell me: He was in control, He knew what He was doing, I could trust Him to be working things out for our good and to be patient because His timing is ALWAYS perfect, even when we can’t understand what is going on.
For the next few years we lived pay to pay, on a tight budget, working hard to pay off all of our personal debt. I would often laugh and tell people that God was a great teacher and that He also had a sense of humour. I thought He might be waiting for us to clear our debts (that we accrued whilst being ineffective stewards of our finances over the years!) before He would allow the house to sell.
Fast forward to 2014…
I attended the Beautiful Woman conference at my church. I had $50 in my purse; our last $50 until pay day the following Thursday. On the Saturday night, during the offering message, I felt God ask me if I trusted Him. I told Him that I did. He then told me that He knew that I only had $50 left but to trust that He is my provider and to demonstrate my faith in Him by putting the $50 note into the offering bucket. With tears in my eyes and the money held tightly in my fist, I said a prayer of thanks and obediently deposited the money into the bucket as it went past. I promised myself that I wouldn’t tell Matthew what I had done!!!
The next thing I knew I was being called out of my seat and down to the altar. However, the pastor wasn’t calling my name out. The only way I know how to describe it was that it felt as though I was caught on the end of a fishing line and was being reeled in by a fisherman. When I arrived at the front of the auditorium, I stood still, eyes closed, hands held in front of me as if I was about to receive from God. The song playing was Planetshakers, ‘Leave me astounded’. I began to sing, tears streaming down my face.
(OFFICIAL VIDEO) – YouTube https://youtu.be/-RSfvCpXa14
As I sang the words from this song:
Leave me astounded, leave me amazed
Show off Your glory, let heaven invade
We’re waiting with worship, we’re waiting with praise
For the almighty presence of God to invade.
I felt God say to me,”Well done, good and faithful servant. Your blessing is coming and your house is going to sell this week.”
I replied, “Thank you, Lord. I will believe for that!”
The next day, as I was driving home with my friend, Greta, and her mum, I felt God prompt me to tell them what God had said the previous night. I felt a bit silly telling them about it but, obediently, I did.
I wasn’t planning on telling Matthew that I had given our last $50 to God; I didn’t think he would understand! However, a couple of days later, God asked me to tell Matthew what I had done and to let him know that God had told me that the house would sell that week. So, reluctantly, I told him!
Our house sold that week!
The most amazing thing was that the sale of our house DID coincide with us paying off ALL of our personal debt. After 8 years we were finally DEBT FREE; no mortgage, no credit cards and no personal loans!
God did know what He was doing; he was teaching us to be better with our finances and demonstrating to us that, if we are obedient, and have faith, He can then work in our lives.
Perhaps the most significant part of this story is His prompting me to tell both Greta and Matthew about His promise that the house would sell that week. It seemed impossible, having been on the market for so long. However, my telling them enabled Him to demonstrate His glory.
Trust in the LORD with all of your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)