When I was seven, I learned the value of saving my allowance. While on a family vacation one summer, I spotted a little pink Turtle coin bank in a gift shop that I couldn't do without.
I walked up proudly to the cashier with a dollar bill and coins in one hand, and the Turtle bank in the other.
"That'll be $1.78," the clerk said.
I was perplexed. This was a different amount than the price tag.
"Got change?" the clerk asked. "You owe tax."
Tax? I didn't know anything about that. I dug down into my jeans pocket. Two nickels. Six pennies. Whew. I had enough, and a little left over.
I didn't realize just how much change would be required. Early life lesson.
The memory stuck with me. As I grew, my backup plan was to save all the extra change I could. I didn't want to be caught short-handed again. The small Turtle bank quickly filled up, so I switched to putting my coins into an empty stationery box I kept in my dresser drawer.
When I reached adulthood, I switched to a gallon glass jar, and kept it at least half full. It came in handy when we needed extra money for our girls for birthdays, or if we ran low on groceries before payday.
If anyone said, "Got change?", I had it, and I wasn't about to run out. If I put enough money aside, whether in the money jar or in the bank, there would be enough to get by.
The extra change in the account; however, was not going to prepare me for unexpected life changes: the sudden death of a first husband, the loss of beloved family and friends, the loss of a business, investments, and the loss of jobs.
If anybody said, "Got change?" I could shake my head affirmatively, Yes. I had lots of change. Life change. Nothing was the same from one day to the next.
I couldn't look to the coin jar or the bank account to save me from those things, but I learned to look to God. Change. He knew all about it, for He made the greatest purchase of all. He gave the life of His only Son on the cross. He saved us from sin--the sin that caused the world to change--to something other than intended.
I approached the counter at the grocery store the other day.
"Got change?" the cashier asked.
I dug into my wallet and retrieved the needed coins.
Yes. I have change, all right. I have experienced it firsthand. I never realized just how much of it life required. But I have a backup plan. I've got a bank filled with God's grace that will get me through. I don't want to be without it, for my soul would be penniless.
May you, too, bank on God's grace for all that you need!