I do not consider myself stingy, but I am quite frugal. I like to find a deal, even if it means making someone else’s trash my treasure. When I was farming I would often go to farm sales and buy equipment that no one else wanted because it needed a new bearing or fresh paint. I figured I could spend a little sweat equity on it and have it work just as good as new.
We were able to do the same thing with our car last summer. We found a damaged vehicle that had been recovered from the insurance company. It was less than five years old and had less than 60,000 miles, but it had a damaged radiator, mounting bracket and bumper. Well, we bought it along with $200 worth of parts from a salvage yard, and after a days worth of labor, we now have a nearly new car.
After saying all that, I could not help but admire all the folks who picked up stuff from the curb during garbage pick up days. Some of the folks may not have had the means to get furniture any other way, but I am guessing that most were simply enterprising entrepreneurs.
I must admit I did the same. I was actually hoping to simply find a small piece of left over sheet rock for a small home improvement project. It only needed to be 2 by 3 feet. I got the idea when we saw some pieces by the curb that were too small for our use, so we began to drive around town looking through our window at other people's garbage hoping to see a piece of sheet rock. Well we did not find it, but we did find a fine grill instead. We talked with the nice gentleman who had just set it out, and he said that it still worked but he had received a new on as a gift and we could have his old one if we liked. Of course we liked. I had been smelling the aroma of meat cooking from grills all over town this spring and was excited about the prospect of adding to that odor.
It is really neat to see how God provides. As I look around our house I am reminded of the recliner we were given by our old neighbors after they got a new one, the free bookshelf we picked up, the sewing machine my wife was given by some elderly friends who had just sold their home, the dresser her grandfather made her, the file cabinet I got for free from a friend and so many other blessings too numerous to mention.
The apostle Paul understood what it meant to be content with what he had. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11. Once we learn to be content with the things we have, it is amazing how much God blesses us with. Philippians 4:19 says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Notice it says needs not wants. I do not need a blue 1965 Chevy Impala Super Sport hardtop with a 327 and Keystone Classic rally rims (my dream car), so I do not have that as my expectation. Instead, God has allowed me to have a Ford Taurus, a very reliable and practical car. “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” I Timothy 6:8.
To conclude our little story, I was working in my office on garbage pick up day, and could see our own pile of junk by the curb, when not ten minutes before the garbage truck came, a woman stopped to pick up our tattered old recliner. I am thankful that God was able to use some of our junk to provide for someone else.