Going Public

Jim Ganther

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

Shortly after moving our young family to Tampa over twenty years ago, my wife and I agreed I should start my own solo law practice. Thus began a year without a paycheck. One Tuesday afternoon in 1995, we calculated what was needed to survive another month: $8,000.00. We needed it by Friday or we would default on our mortgage. If that happened, for me, it would mean that it was time to give up the solo practice and find a “real job.”

Before throwing in the towel, I prayed, right there at my desk. I told the Lord, unless I had $8,000.00 in my bank account by Friday, it was going to be game over. Amen.

As soon as I had concluded my prayer, the phone rang. My side of the conversation went like this: “Yes, I do collections work… One-third, plus expenses… What’s the sum at issue?” “Twenty-four thousand dollars,” said the caller.

I faxed over a retainer agreement and a copy of the claim paperwork came back to me, along with a signed version. I called the debtor company, and, after waiting on hold, was told that $24,000.00 would be hand-delivered the next day. It was, and precisely $8,000.00 was in my bank account by Friday.

From there, my practice grew into a ten-person firm, and I never missed another paycheck – until I stopped practicing law in order to start another business, which I am still running today.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: Do I immediately turn to the Lord when difficulties arise in my work, or do I only pray after having tried and failed to fix things on my own?