During my college years in the Philippines, I had a classmate and a friend named Janice. She had a generous heart. Janice's gift for her 18th birthday was 18,000 Philippine pesos which was equivalent to 350 US dollars. Instead of spending it on herself, she organized an outreach program and donated clothes to a tribal village away from the city. During her senior year, she used her graduation gift to take the whole department to a beautiful island called Mindoro. The trip included a van ride to the pier and a boat ride to the island. We had a great time socializing, swimming and snorkeling. The Philippines is rich in beautiful beaches.
The trip was perfect until I got back to our campus. Few minutes after we got down from the public van, I realized that I had lost my wallet. I was sure that I dropped it in the van because I used it when we bought delicacies on our way back. We purchased the treats from vendors who approached the van. Unfortunately, that public van didn’t have a specific station; there was no way to track it.
I had 4,500 pesos in my wallet. Six months before the trip to the island, there was a preacher who came to our church and challenged the congregation to read nine volumes of a spiritual book. He offered a 100 Canadian dollar incentive. I studied the books and got the award. I thought it would be better to use the money for a personal ministry. I planned to buy spiritual books and distribute them for free. The lost money was mainly the award.
My prayer was, “Lord, I lost what I dedicated to a spiritual cause. I believe that I will get it back if you will.” There was nothing I could do by myself. I turned my attention to my study.
Two weeks later, one of my Ethiopian friends met me with excitement and told me “Legesse’s girlfriend has brought your wallet.” Legesse is an Ethiopian friend who had a Filipina girlfriend, Shirly, who later became his wife. Shirly didn’t live on campus. Her place was far from our university. How did she find my wallet?
We did not know, but the driver’s wife was a member of a local church in another town that was affiliated with our university. While cleaning up the van, the driver found the wallet and gave it to his wife. Shirly lived with them renting a room. The driver’s wife checked for an ID in the wallet and showed my picture to Shirly. Problem solved. Providentially, Shirly had a plan to come to our campus in two weeks. I received my wallet without any effort from my side. The wallet was intact. Shirly told me that his wife's exemplary integrity influenced the driver's honesty.
"Because of the loving devotion of the LORD we are not consumed,
for His mercies never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness!"
Lamentations 3:21 & 22, BSB
Sometimes, you have to leave to God and move on although you have unresolved issues. Don’t get stuck! "Don't worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today" (Matthew 6:34, CEV).
Once you dedicate something to a spiritual purpose, keep in mind that someone GREATER is in charge. "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand" (Prov 19:21, ESV).
Looking back, were there times you worried about something but God intervened the clear the way? What lesson can you draw from your experience?
What kind of wisdom would you like to ask God for worrisome situations? What is your prayer for others who worry a lot? Ask God to make you a source of hope and strength to others who are troubled.