I was in my late twenties and had just been ordained as an Anglican priest. I had gone to England with nothing but a borrowed $1,000.00 and faith, believing that God wanted me to be an Anglican priest. It was an adventure living by faith and when I graduated and was ordained all my education bills were paid.
Now I was living in a clergy house with a salary and a car and my younger brother came to live with me. One day I said that it was boring now having a car and a salary and a house. I remember what it was like to live by faith. He said, “Then why don’t you give away half your salary and live by faith again?”
So I did. Then he said, “By the way, I’ve seen that more people are going to come and live in your house so you’re going to really have to live by faith.” Sure enough, a group of guys came to live there in a kind of informal religious community. Some of them had jobs and contributed to the housekeeping. Others didn’t. They were in their twenties. They were hungry.
So my brother started to get up early and bake bread. He went to the local bakery and bought a large forty pound bag of flour. The baker asked him how much bread he was going to bake and he guessed it would run out by September. He told my brother that he would have to use up the flour before September or it would get weevils. We didn’t have much money and my brother made more loaves of bread than he had planned. Some days he would make two or three loaves and we ate it very fast. Warm, fresh baked bread is delicious.
By the end of November my brother said, “You know, I just notice that flour hasn’t run out, and it doesn’t have weevils, and I’ve been making about twice the amount of bread I thought I was going to.
When did the flour run out? When one of the other boys got a job and we had enough money to buy another sack of flour. Did we have a miracle of the multiplication of the flour? To this day I believe we did, although we didn’t have proof.
Sometimes people say to me, “Boy, that’s amazing! I wish I could experience a miracle like that!” Maybe you could, but you’d have to give away half of your salary (for starters)…and even then there’s no guarantee. Living by faith is a risky business and the risks are great and who knows what will happen when you step out of the boat to walk on the waves?
Something will happen for sure, but you don’t know what, and all you do know when you jump is that “underneath are the everlasting arms.”