This week I am excited to share about the Lord’s provision in my personal life through trusting the Lord. We all come to those times in our lives where things just seem good. We can go through our daily lives without having to worry about something other than the tasks put before us. However, the problem with things being “good” is that we forget to rely on God. We “forget” to do our daily Bible readings. We “forget” to pray. Sometimes we even “forget” to go to church. I say “forget” in quotes because maybe we aren’t forgetting as much as we just aren’t “doing”. There’s no problem in my life so why do I need to pray, read my Bible, and go to church? Unfortunately this is a pit I fell into this past summer, but in a different way.
As many of you know, this past summer I had the opportunity to go on a mission’s trip to Nepal for three weeks. While I was there we did four hours of prayer and worship every day and God was good! Sure, I felt the awful spiritual oppression of the unreached country, but man, the Lord spoke to me in ways like never before. My spiritual high had begun!
Directly after coming home from Nepal, my team flew to Colorado for a mission’s conference. Again, the Lord was good! I could feel His presence at all the worship services and through the messages. It was good. Life was good. I had nothing to worry about because the Lord was so good!
In the midst of this, I had received a call from my mom telling me that I had a tuition bill to pay that was $3,000 more than what I had paid the previous semester. I didn’t know what to do. I had just taken a month off of work and didn’t have the money to pay for it. I was really shaken. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.
My friend and I had this spontaneous idea of treating all of those from our area in Ohio to lunch. So we took everyone to this awesome burger joint and then just split the bill. This wasn’t a huge deal for me. I was excited to just bless the people that had poured into me. But, I had offered to pick up the tip too because I had cash. The bill came to $100.65. I paid $50 and my friend put the rest on his card. Originally, I was going to leave $5 for a tip, but then noticing how large our bill was, I decided $20 would be better. As I pulled out the leftover cash I had from my adventurous month, I started to count how much I had left. I had about $80 left. After counting it all, I felt the Spirit telling me to leave the whole $80. I was like, what? NO. I cannot do that! Lord, you know the bill that I have to pay. I prayed that if this is what He wanted me to do that He would give me a confirmation. As you can imagine, He certainly did. So, after everyone got up, I left the tip.
We got back to where we were staying and I had a meltdown. I grabbed my tablet and found a quiet place to sit and started looking up classes and tuition rates. I planned when to take certain classes, but it just wasn’t working to where I would be able to afford tuition each semester because of the amount of credit hours I would have to take. I called my mom and vented to her and she said, “well, if you have to stay another semester to finish then so be it, but we have to do what we have to do to make it affordable”.
This was hard to hear. My plan was to graduate during a certain time frame, get my degree, work for a summer, and then find an organization to do missions with… it would be perfect. Well, I went for a walk and thought about it. I realized that my problem was that it was MY plan, not God’s plan. Maybe God wants me to stay an extra semester. After my walk, I had come to the conclusion that God was in control of the situation. That God would make a way and provide for me, just like he had done the previous semesters, and just like he had done for the whole summer.
We went back to the conference and got into small groups. In my group we were sharing about prayer requests and I asked for my new friends to pray about God’s provision for tuition. At the next session, one of the guys in my group got on stage. Once the crowd quieted down he asked where I was sitting. I waved at him and he asked if he could share what I had told our group. I wasn’t exactly sure what he was talking about because I had told my group a lot of things. But he decided that he was just going to share it anyway. He told the rest of the students (as in college students from all across America) that I was struggling to pay tuition. He then asked them to not just pray for God to provide, but to be an answer to their own prayers. He then set a hat in the back of the room and students fled to the back to put donations in the hat.
I sobbed. I couldn’t believe what was happening. At the end of the night my friend that shared came up to me and handed me an envelope. He said: “there’s about $800 in here”. I wasn’t sure how to respond but just kept saying thank you, and thanked the Lord. I felt so blessed.
However, I knew this wasn’t enough and that I had to talk to financial aid and other various people at college. So, the next day instead of hiking, I stayed back and made some phone calls and talked to basically everyone I needed to in order to find out what to do next.
I had pretty much come to grips with the fact that I would have to take out another loan. While I was on the phone with financial aid the advisor asked me what my major was. I told her Social Work and Missions. She then asked what I wanted to do after I graduated. I told her I wanted to sell everything and buy the field. I told her I wanted to go to the 10/40 window and share the Gospel with the unreached. She then paused, and said, “I have a scholarship just for you.” I again did not know how to respond to this. She told me I was a perfect candidate and then asked me to immediately fill out the application that she had just emailed me. The next day, I got an email with the update of my financial aid reward.
Friends, I am not telling you this story to brag about how the Lord provided for me. I am telling you so you can see my mistakes. I did not rely on the Lord when I first received the amount of my bill. I completely took matters into my own hands, knowing that God is the God that provides and has done it in my life since the day I was born. How could I have been so selfish and blind to what the Lord wanted to give me? Because I was so caught up in how good my life was to the point where I forgot about the promises of the Lord. I forgot that trusting in Him comes with the goodness I had encountered.
God had provided in the past, and He was eager to do it again! I only needed to take that step of faith and continue to believe and trust that He is the God who will provide for me! We all need to do this. We all need to recognize that we simply cannot take matters into our own hands, or we will all end up like me, in distress over an issue that’s smaller than a grain of sand to the Lord.
Church, take the next hour or so to listen to Pastor Aaron’s sermon about King Asa and how he tried to take matters into his own hands when the enemy attacked. http://painesvilleag.com/lessons-from-king-asa Don’t let the enemy have a grip on you anymore with stress, anxiety, bitterness, fear, etc. Take that step of faith and remember the Lord’s promises. Don’t fall into that pit of “forgetting” in trusting the Lord.
Writer, Blogger, College Student