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You are here: Greater Things > Ridenhour > Ministry Moments > Money Miracles > "Pick out the best couch & chair in the store"

Ministry Moments:

Money Miracles --
"Pick out the best couch & chair in the store"

by Lynn Ridenhour

While Linda and I were ministering at the Upper Room, I began to feel the need for a place of our own. We were living in an old run-down building that we had made into a home. No furnace and no running water. And we were sharing that building with thirty former hippies. We were really roughing it.

I began seeking the Lord about perhaps buying a mobile home for Linda. That seemed the best thing to do. That way we would have some sense of privacy and at least Linda would feel as though she had a home.

I prayed and prayed and drove to about every small neighboring town around looking. I found nothing. No one seemed to have a mobile home for sale. One day the Lord said, "…go to Jeff…" I said, "…Lord, I don’t know any dealers in Jefferson City…"

The words kept coming, "…go to Jeff…"

After a few more weeks of running into brick walls, I finally told the Lord, "…I’m going to Jeff. I don’t know who I’ll talk to; I don’t know where I’ll go when I get there, but I’m going. Out of obedience I’m going."

I got in the car and drove to Jefferson City without any money. And I told him while driving, "…Lord, I’m doing this simply because I believe you told me to…"

When I arrived, I drove up on Main Street. While driving, not knowing really what I was doing, I glanced to my right, and read the storefront sign "…Financing Available…" I thought, "…I need financing to buy a mobile home, that’s for sure…" Parking was crowded. There was one empty spot left on the entire block and it happened to be right in front of the store. I parked the car and walked inside.

I noticed a bunch of petitions that looked like small offices.

"…May I help you?…" Someone came from around the corner.

"…I hope so. I’m here for financing…"

"…Jim will be right with you. Go ahead and take a seat…"

I did.

Soon a tall young man approached me, "My name is Jim Fields. Please, won’t you come in." I followed him into his petitioned office and took a seat.

"Are you the guy who just called?"

"Sir, I don’t know what you’re talking about."

"You didn’t call me about thirty minutes ago saying that you wanted to purchase our mobile home?"

"No sir. But I did come in here in hopes I could get a loan for a mobile home. I’m wanting to buy a mobile home."

"I’m sorry, we make small loans for furniture. Loans no larger than $500. You sure you didn’t call me on the phone awhile ago?"

"No sir, I didn’t. But since I’m here, could we go take a look at your mobile home? That’s why I came to Jeff."

"I don’t mind."

He got his coat and we left. I liked it. The home was big, had two full baths, was almost new, and had been well taken care of.  I said, "…I’ll take it…"

We drove back to his office, worked out the financing there in his office with a company he knew about. In other words, the owner, a perfect stranger, got us financing. I didn’t even have to tell him I had no money. We had the mobile home pulled down near our 180-acre farm, and Linda was extremely happy.

The man in the furniture Loan Company told me as I was leaving Jefferson City, "…just this morning my wife was praying that today we would sell our home, and you came along."

"…I sure did…"

The only furniture we had was the old raggedy stuff we’d borrowed from here & there. The couch had holes in it and looked awful, really. We had sheets covering it. But that’s all we had, so we put it in Linda’s new home. The mobile home came unfurnished. The holiday season was upon us and one morning I was praying, "…Lord, I sure would like to get my wife some new living room furniture for Christmas…" He responded, "…go down to Winter’s and pick out the best couch and chair in the store…" I was a little taken back. Winter’s is the fanciest furniture store in town.

Again, it seems the Lord always asks me to do something I can’t do. I didn’t have the money to buy Linda a fancy living room suite. But I was learning. I was learning a valuable lesson in the faith world. The Bible says that Abraham went around calling "…those things which be not as though they were…" (Romans 4:17). The Bible also says "…faith is the substance…" (Heb.11:1).

The Lord wanted me to learn that His word was as good as substance, as good as money. When God spoke, in other words, He wasn’t GOING to do a thing; His speaking brought it into existence right THEN. His word is as powerful today as it was on the day of creation. He spoke the sun into existence; he spoke the moon into existence; he spoke all of creation into existence. And he could speak my couch & chair into existence. He could speak money into existence. Right then. In fact, the verse in Hebrews reads, "…NOW faith is substance…" The moment we hear a rhema word from the Lord, right then—now--the means to meet our need is created by the Lord. A friend of mine put it like this, "…Lynn, your need is the evidence of his supply…" I like that. And I believe that. For I’ve acted on that scriptural principle for years. And it’s worked every time.

The first lesson God wanted me to learn was the same lesson He wanted Abraham to learn. When He speaks, circumstances mean nothing. I mean, absolutely nothing. We have to get our eyes off our circumstances and focus entirely on Him. Abraham, for instance, went around for years calling himself a "daddy" before he was a "daddy." He called those things that be not as though they were. "…I’m a daddy," said Abraham, though his circumstances dictated otherwise. The question is always the same:  which do we choose to believe?

God was teaching me that same lesson. Once He speaks it’s as good as done. Now act that way! What would I do if I had the money? I’d go right now and buy my wife that living room suite. Then act that way…now!

So I got in my car and drove up to Winter’s. Remember, faith is substance. I’m acting in faith, therefore, I have the substance. Faith IS substance. Faith is money. I was walking around the store looking at living room suites. There sure were some gorgeous ones. I finally found one I liked. The couch and chair I picked out, I must say would look mighty good sitting in Linda’s new living room. I would love to surprise her before she comes home after while. And the couch & chair I picked happened to be the most expensive set in the store.

"…Sir, may I help you?" said the salesman.

"…Yes, sir. I’d like to buy this couch & chair."

"…You picked out a good one. Come on up to the front desk."

I followed him. It wasn’t too long ago that Linda and I had purchased a brand new station wagon without any money [click here for story] (we had the money, we just didn’t know we had it) so this time I wasn’t feeling quite as much apprehension. Nevertheless, the world never will understand your purchasing things by faith. And our Adamic nature will always cringe at such stupidity.

"…Sir, how do you propose to pay for the set?" The man was staring at me from over the top of his rimhorned glasses he wore down on his nose.

Fortunately no one was at the counter. "Sir, I don’t have any money."

He adjusted his glasses with his finger. "You don’t have any money?" he asked with his voice pitched slightly higher.

"No sir, I don’t."

He looked to his left, then to his right. I thought," what’s he doing?" Then it dawned on me, he’s looking for his boss.

He leans toward me and whispers, "…tell you what I’ll do. I’ll sell you this set ninety days same as cash…" I wasn’t for sure what his terms meant, but said "…I’ll take it."

"…Fine, let’s finish the paper work."

I signed where I was supposed to and with great excitement left the store in a hurry to go get my uncle’s pick up truck so that I could haul Linda’s new couch and chair back to the mobile home and get it set up before she gets home.

Linda comes walking through the door. It’s a few months before Christmas but I couldn’t wait. I was sitting on her new couch, and it looked beautiful, when she screams, "…Lynn, where did you get this?!…" You should have seen the look on her face. She had her hands on her cheeks.

With a big smile, I said "…The Lord got it for us, hon. Merry Christmas!…"

I felt ten foot tall.

She sat down next to me and I gave her a great big kiss.

One month goes by and Linda is reveling in her new furniture.

Two months go by. We begin to get reminders in the mail from Winter’s that our 90 days is approaching. Ten weeks. Eleven weeks. No money. We get down to the last week. By this time, Winter’s has sent us three notices. The last one said they would be coming after our couch and chair by the end of the week if we they did not receive payment in full.

I was really downcast, for I knew I had heard from the Lord. We’re two days away from repossession. That evening Linda and I get down on our knees, and I do something that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. In my heart I gave the couch and chair back to the Lord and thanked Him for the time He permitted us to enjoy them.

O, that was hard.

"…Lord," I said with a quiver in my voice, as we knelt on the couch side by side. "I know I heard you speak to me. I know you said that I could pick out the best couch and chair that store had and buy it for my lovely wife. I know I did not miss you. And father, I thought for sure we would have had the money by now. But if you want your couch and chair, I give it back with no malice or bitterness in my heart. And thank you for the joy they brought to our home, in Jesus name."

I heard my wife crying. I was crying.

We got up off our knees and were hugging. The tears were flowing when our phone rang. It was Lon & Nancy Dalton, our friends from Chicago.

"…Lynn," said Lon, "…do you need some money?"

I about dropped the phone and was speechless.

"…Nancy and I just came into quite a bit of money and we want to share some of it with you guys. Nancy was praying today and the Lord spoke to her. You guys could use some money. How much do you need?…"

I’m shell-shocked! And still speechless.

"…Hello, Lynn? You there?…"

"Yes, I’m here, Lon."

I told him our story and as good friends we both rejoiced. Here God speaks to friends of ours in another state.

Lon Fed-Exed the money. On the 90th day—of all days-- I walked into Winter’s store, humbled but proud—proud to serve such a God, and with great joy bubbling over in my soul, I counted out one hundred dollar bills-- one by one, placing them slowly, deliberately on the counter top as the salesman with his glasses down over his nose watched my every move.

I walked out of Winter’s with my feet not quite touching the floor. I could hear Christmas carols in the background, "...O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant..."

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Page posted on March 28, 2001

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