Thursday thoughts: Be open to letting God use you to bless others


I love new school supplies. I loved them when I was a child and I loved getting them for my children every year when school started. There was just something about having new supplies when you start a new year, a fresh start. I always looked forward to purchasing their school supplies and honestly, I think they enjoyed it just as much as I did. 

I am always reminded of God’s provision every year when I see the school supplies come out. Many years ago, when my children were in elementary school, Wayne had lost his job. It was a tough summer and he was applying for jobs while he worked every odd job he could find. He painted, cut grass, worked Friday nights at the newspaper and did anything else he could find to help supplement our income. I was a stay-at-home mom but I cared for other children in our home to earn some money. 

It was August and school was about to start and my three children were asking about their school supplies. We honestly did not have the money. It was a Sunday afternoon the week before school was to start and I vividly remember Wayne and I discussing how we were going to get the things they needed for school. Neither one of us wanted to let our children start school without the items they needed, even though we knew we might be facing that dilemma.

 I remember Wayne asking me specifically how much money I thought I would need to purchase school supplies. I said I thought I could get everything they needed for $100. He said he would think and pray about asking his parents for the money. Of course, this was not something we wanted to do but we were just trying to work things out for our kids.

Our oldest two children had choir rehearsals at church on Sunday afternoons. Not long after our conversation, Wayne left to take them to church. I can remember being so heartbroken because I didn’t want to disappoint my children but I also didn’t want to put any more pressure on my husband who was doing his very best to provide for us. I prayed, asking God to provide. I remember thinking about the song we sang in church that morning “God will make a way when there seems to be no way – He works in ways we cannot see – He will make a way for me.”

 Shortly after, Wayne came home from dropping the kids off. He came into the house and had an envelope in his hand. He said when he dropped off Justin and Amy that a lady at our church gave him an envelope and told him that another person had asked her to give it to us. Inside that envelope was $100.

I can still cry today thinking about this. No one but Wayne, myself and God heard the conversation we had about school supplies. No one! God impressed on someone’s heart to make a way for our family that day. It was such an overwhelming feeling to know that God loved us enough to meet that need for us. No matter how small it might have seemed to others it left an everlasting impression on our hearts of the love, care, and provision of our mighty God.

To this day I have no idea who gave us that money. I do pray that somehow they knew how much God used their act of kindness in our life. I guess I say all this just to remind all of us that there are people all around us who are hurting and in need. It might be a financial need or it could be they need a kind word, a note of appreciation, or just a smile and some encouragement. All of us can meet a need in one way or another.

We have to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and keep our eyes open to every opportunity to show the love of God. This one act of kindness to our family has made a lasting memory of the goodness and provision of our God. I want to encourage everyone to be aware of the opportunities all around you.

Ask God to use you. Your obedience will bless you and in turn allow you to make an impact on someone else for the kingdom. No matter how small it may seem to you it could mean the world to someone else. What is God leading you to do today? Remember that “God will make a way when there seems to be no way,” even when it’s just school supplies.


Jill Johnson, a staff member at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, finds spiritual applications in her everyday experiences as a wife, mother, grandmother and Georgian. She is available to speak to your church's women's gatherings. Reach her at