“Our Furnace Ran on Faith,” Ensign, January 2019
When my husband, Mark, and I lived with our five small children on the east coast of the United States, we lived in a house that had an oil furnace. To check the oil level, we would put a measuring stick into the tank. And if the oil was low, we would call the heating oil company to come fill the tank.
During an unusually cold January, we were having financial problems. I even took a part-time job in the evenings at a restaurant to supplement our income, but we still had trouble making ends meet. It finally came down to the choice of paying tithing or paying to heat our house. We measured the oil and it came to two inches (5 cm). That would last only a day or two. But we decided to put our faith in the Lord and pay our tithing.
The next day, Mark measured the oil again. It was still at two inches. Mark measured it again the following day, and it was still at two inches. The heat was coming on, but the oil was not going down. The next two days, the oil remained at two inches. I remember crying tears of joy at night when I heard the heat come on. Our furnace was not running on oil; it was running on faith.
I felt like the widow who fed the prophet Elijah and found that her “barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail” (1 Kings 17:16). When payday finally came, Mark once again measured the oil. This time it measured at one inch (2.5 cm). Now the oil was going down, but we had money to fill the tank.
Our family had tested the Lord’s promise found in Malachi 3:10: “And prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
To any who doubt the blessings of paying tithing, I encourage them to accept the Lord’s invitation to “prove [him] now herewith.” Paying tithing unlocks the windows of heaven, and through obedience and faithfulness to the Lord’s laws and commandments, we are blessed in many ways.
Our family will never forget when our oil furnace ran on faith instead of oil.