Tomato Soup and Saltine Crackers

by Carol Nicholls

But my God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory. Philippians 4:19

I couldn’t face it, just the smell was repulsive. For more than 10 years tomato soup and saltine crackers, an American staple, was not allowed in my home. The whole issue began when I was 18.

Six months after high school graduation I packed up my earthly goods (not a lot at that age), left them at my mother’s apartment and headed for the Los Angeles airport. My first airplane ride was on a four engine prop plane. St Louis was the furthest I could go with the money I had.

Fortunately I knew someone in Granite City Illinois, right across the mighty Mississippi from St. Louis. I found a reasonably priced and mostly clean motel room with a kitchenette and a bathroom that was shared with the unit next door.

Being self-supporting, I knew I needed work. Classified ads yielded a job at a large St. Louis bank as a clerk typist. All day I sat and typed overdraft notices along with several other women. (If the prop plane didn’t quite give it away now you know… this was in the last century and before computerization).

And what has that to do with tomato soup and saltine crackers? Glad you asked!

Paydays were every two weeks. My funds were getting really low and they had to last that first two weeks. Literally counting out the pennies, I set aside bus money and rent. What was left had to be food. The only thing I could afford was ten cent cans of tomato soup and a 29 cent box of saltine crackers; enough to provide both breakfast and dinner. Every. Single. Day.

Payday morning, after eating my soup and crackers, I put the last of the coins in the bus fare box. A paycheck has never looked as good as the one that came that day. Cashing it before lunch I was able to eat in the cafeteria. Real, warm food served on a plate instead of a bowl was awesome.

Looking back, I now realize I learned some very important lessons:

  1. God has promised to always provide for me BUT I am responsible to use His
    provision wisely
  2. There is no need to panic when the cupboard is bare or the bank account is
    low. He is watching over me
  3. Trusting His Father heart I know He will not give me a stone or a snake when
    I am in need. His provision will be more than enough

Over the years I’ve sometimes been unwise, squandered His wealth on things that quickly lost their glitter and appeal; failed to be thankful for many small blessings and oh so many more! Through all of these years He has never changed concerning me. His Word says He never changes. He is the one solid foundation in a world of constant change.

Whatever is shaking your world today it is not beyond His care and provision. His heart is for you to receive every good and perfect gift Heaven has. Bring your needs to Him with open hands and heart and mind, be ready to receive what He sends.

Yes, you may have to eat tomato soup and saltine crackers for two weeks but you will come through to blessings and wisdom and strength and the sure knowledge that you are loved and safe.