God’s Greatest Gift


Tom Corley boats - crop

There once was a woman who was miserable with her life. She hated her low-paying, high stress job, yet worried every night about losing it. She and her husband were falling behind on their bills and their credit card debt kept growing. They constantly fought with each over their money problems. Her husband began coming home later and later every night. She suspected he might be cheating on her.

She was beside herself. In desperation, one night she dropped to her knees and began to pray. She continued praying for several months, every night begging God to fix her money problems and make her happy. Then, one night, God appeared to her in her bedroom.

“I am very sorry to see you unhappy, my child. What can I do to help?”

The woman thought long and hard. “Please, dear God, help turn my life around. I want to stop fighting with my husband and I want all of my money problems to go away. I want to finally be in control of my life.”

God thought for a minute, then said, “I will give you a gift. It is my greatest gift. This gift has the power to completely transform your life. Do you accept my gift?”

“Yes, yes I do. I do accept your gift. Please give me your greatest gift so that I can transform my life.”

With that, God bowed his head and said, “my greatest gift is bestowed upon you, my child.”

God slowly faded away and then, vanished into the night.

A year went by and the woman’s life only got worse.  Everything was collapsing in on her. Unpaid bills, credit card companies relentlessly pursuing her, she lost her job, her mortgage company initiated foreclosure proceedings and the final straw – her husband left her for another woman.

At her breaking point, in complete desperation, she began to cry uncontrollably. Between the sobs, she screamed to the heavens,  “God, you are a fraud. You’re a liar. You’ve given me nothing but more problems.”

After the tears subsided, the woman lay in her bed exhausted. She realized that she was on her own now.

“God has abandoned me, my husband has left me and no one is going to help me,” she somberly acknowledged to herself.

Somehow, she found the strength to pull herself out of bed, get up, shower and dress. She sat on her couch for what seems like hours, pondering her next move. Then a thought entered her mind.

She meandered up the stairs to the attic and pulled out her paint brushes, along with her paint bottles and set up one of the many blank canvases that for years remained hidden away under the cover of a attic blankets. And then she began to paint.

Hours became days and days turned into weeks. When the fog of her renewed obsession finally cleared, she found herself surrounded by dozens of the most beautiful paintings she had ever created. She marveled at her work. “I believe this is my best work ever,” she said to herself.

Just then, another thought entered her mind. “Maybe I should try to sell some of these paintings.”

The next morning, she found herself planted on a sidewalk, next to a park in New York City, her paintings displayed for all to see. A young couple walking by, slowed down to admire one of the paintings.

“How much?” they asked. Somewhat startled, she spit out the words “three hundred dollars.” The couple moved off to the side, absorbed in conversation and then turned back towards the woman.

“We’ll give you two hundred dollars for the painting.” “Sold,” she heard herself say.

Not long after, an elderly man inquired about the price of another painting. “How much?” he asked. “Five hundred dollars,” she heard herself say. “Fine,” the elderly man replied. And he handed her the money.

By the end of the day the woman had sold all of her paintings. She counted her money. $3,700. She could hardly believe it. She floated back home, proud, enthusiastic and happy for the first time in a long time.

Over the next few days the woman filled dozens more canvases and once again plopped herself down near the same place by the park in New York City. By the day’s end she counted her money. “$8,000! I can’t believe it”, she sang to herself.

Several months passed by. The woman continued to paint and sell her paintings. She accumulated more than enough money to pay off all of her delinquent bills, paid down all of her credit card debts and brought her mortgage up to date, putting an end to the foreclosure proceedings.

With the money she had left over, she decided to open her own art studio. Business was booming. Soon, other artists asked her if they could display their own paintings. Her cut was 30%.

A number of years went by and the woman purchased the building she had been renting her studio in. She now had ten tenants paying her rent, which covered the building’s mortgage and property taxes, leaving her with a very nice monthly profit. Plus her studio was making her wealthier each day.

One night, laying in her bed, God appeared. “I’ve been keeping a very close eye on you. I’m so happy to see that your life has completely turned around and that you are doing so well now. You seem so happy.”

The woman stared at God in disbelief. “Keeping an eye on me? Are you kidding? Since our last meeting, since you promised me your greatest gift, my life completely fell apart. I lost my job, my husband left me and I nearly lost my home. Where were you when I needed you most? You did nothing for me. I had to do it all on my own.”

“But don’t you see my child? I did give you my greatest gift,” God said in a soft, kindly tone.

Still staring at God in disbelief, the woman shook her head and demanded of God, “what gift?”

“I gave you the gift of desperation, my child. My gift forced you to take responsibility for your own life. It motivated you to lift yourself up and to become self-reliant. Desperation unleashed the boundless creativity within you. It opened up your eyes for the first time and tapped into your inner genius, enabling you to see solutions to problems that were previously invisible to you. You are now wealthy, wealthier than you ever imagined you could ever be. You are happy and you are in complete control of your life. That is what you asked me for. Don’t you see my child, it was the gift of desperation, my greatest gift, that transformed your life. “

God slowly faded away until he was no more. As the woman lay in bed contemplating his words, a knowing smile began to blanket her face. She finally understood. Her eyes became heavy and she soon found herself in a deep, peaceful sleep.

Be Sociable, Share!
Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
Email Tom
| Download Media Kit


  1. Great article! Such an awesome story with a powerful message. Desperation can absolutely lead to positive change. Without desperation nipping at ones head and heels not much energy will be propelled into action.

  2. If you put all your strength and faith and vigor into a job and try to do the best you can, the money will come. Lawrence Welk

Speak Your Mind