There was once a pious man with a righteous wife. When the couple lost all their money, the man found work plowing a field, where he met Elijah the Prophet disguised as an Arab.
Elijah said to him, “You have six years of wealth coming to you. Do you want them now or at the end of your life?” The man replied, “You are just a conjurer. Please go away and leave me in peace.”
Elijah came back to him again and again. The third time, the pious man said, “Let me consult with my wife.”
He went to his wife and said, “This man has come to me three times to say that I have six years of wealth coming to me. He wants to know when I want them — now or at the end of my life.”
She said, “Tell him to give you the money now.”
So he went to tell this to Elijah, who said to him, “Go home. Even before you get to the gate of your front garden, you will see that you have been blessed.”
Meanwhile, the couple’s children had been playing in the dirt of their yard, where they found enough money to support their family for six years, so they called their mother. She ran out to tell her husband the good news even before he got to the gate of their house. He immediately thanked God.
What did his wife do? She said to him, “God has been extremely kind to us, giving us all this money. Let’s spend these six years helping others.” So they did.
At the end of the six years, Elijah came and said, “The time has come for me to take back what I gave you.”
The pious man said, “When I accepted the money, I consulted with my wife. Now that it’s time to give it back, let me consult with her again.”
So he went to her and said, “The man has come to take back what he gave us.”
She told him, “If he can find people who will use the money better than we did, he should take it.”
Now God knew about all the good things they had done for others while they had wealth. So He decided to give them even more. As it says in Isaiah (32:17), “The fruit of righteousness will be peace.”
— the harbinger