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Submitted by Melissa Rau (little rock)

Please God, Let Me Stop Winning!

I was on a cruise with my family for my mother’s 50th birthday. One thing my mom and I did together while on board was play bingo. And I had a winning streak! By the last night on the cruise, I’d won $600 and I had a gut feeling God was telling me that this money was not for me, but was for me to give away. I was fresh out of college, working my first job in an entry level job – so $600 was a lot! My mom kept asking what I would buy with this money – I couldn’t dare tell her I thought I was supposed to give it all away because I knew she’d think I was crazy! Our last night of bingo was the blackout night – where the jackpot included all the money hadn’t been won thus far. As the game neared an end, I was one of a few who needed just one more number to win. I remember praying, “God, please, no more – I don’t think I can give it away if its more!” – and then someone else called Bingo! I was so relieved! Ironically, the next ball to be called would have given me Bingo.

So I went home, thankful that God hadn’t given me more winnings! And I started praying and keeping an eye open for what God wanted me to do with this money. It was random – buying someone’s lunch, paying a single mother’s electric bill because it had just been turned off and they had no more money, partnering with my employer who was donating winter coats to orphans in a small Eastern European country. [by the way – it was that country’s coldest winter in years and every child at the orphanage received a new coat!] As I thanked God for the opportunities to give the money away, I thought to myself, “Gosh, if only I had more, I could help more! I could buy more coats! Why did I pray for the bingo winning to stop?!” It was a life-changing experience of living with open hands financially!

Not long after this, my boss called me into his office at work. Completely unexpectedly, he said, “We’re really happy with the work you’ve been doing and we’d like to give you a 12% raise.” Though entirely inappropriate, I couldn’t help but burst out laughing! I knew, naturally, this money wasn’t for me – I was to continue living with open hands the way I’d just learned! How Great is Our God?!