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What a Nickel Taught Me About “In God We Trust”

Authored by: Benji Nunn, CFP®, President
Estimated Read Time: 2-3 Minutes


Today I just wanted to walk down memory lane and share a small story where I learned a BIG lesson.

To the Abingdon office clients, you know my mom, Sharon, as the lady with the friendly smile that welcomes you in the office or answers the phone with a warm welcome. To me, she is the backbone of our office. Someone that gets things done.

A couple of years ago, she was in the hospital getting herself a new knee when my wife and I were there spending some time with her.  My 4-5 month pregnant wife told me she was getting hungry, so I scrapped some change together and we headed down to the vending machines to get a pack of crackers.

When we stepped off the elevator we saw a little boy, roughly 7 years old, standing at the vending machine in, what we all have experienced, frustration as his bag of chips was stuck between the glass and the shelf.  I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me saying, “Go help the boy can have HIS bag of chips.”

We went over to the machine as the boy silently stepped back, lowered my shoulder and rammed the machine with no success.  The machine didn’t even budge.  For the second time, I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to help the boy, but this time I knew we needed to order the same thing the boy had chosen. I did so and two bags of chips fell to the bottom; we handed the boy his bag and he ran off.

“I guess I’m eating the chips. What do you want?” I said to my wife.  She told me she wanted a pack of crackers, so I started putting the change in the machine. A quarter, four dimes and a nickel are what I put in, but the problem was I had spent all my money on that boy getting his bag of chips and the pack of crackers was 75¢. I had 70¢.

I quickly got a little angry inside and asked God, “Why would you lead me to help that boy when I now don’t have enough money to buy my pregnant wife what she’s craving?”

As soon as I thought this, God quickly smacked me upside the head and told me, “Don’t you know that I provide for my loved ones every time there is a need? Look underneath the vending machine.” I immediately dropped to my hands and knees and saw Thomas Jefferson almost winking at me under the vending machine.

At this point, I repented and thanked God. I put the nickel in the machine and got my wife her pack of crackers.

Lesson Learned:

What I learned in that small moment was that no matter how big or small the need, God takes care of those he loves.

My wife got her pack of crackers, the boy got his bag of chips, mom got a break from us annoying her in her hospital room, and I had a valuable lesson of listening and depending on God with my finances…along with a bag of chips.