Saturday, July 12, 2014

He Who Provides

Here's the funny thing about God: He's never late. Even when you feel like things are not going to happen and you're down to the wire and you're stressing, He comes through. Just when He wants to.

I've had God do things in His timing many times in my life, and so I've learned to not worry and trust in that He will provide what I need when He wants. That doesn't make the wait any easier... but I am learning.

There was the time I graduated from masters and had no job and no plan. I came back to Houston and spent about 3 months looking for something. I was at a point when I was ready to give up. And then I got a call and was offered an internship I never even applied to.

His Perfect Provision and in His Perfect Timing.

And then when the three-month internship was ending, I was once again feeling the pressure of the job hunt. Nothing seemed to be available and the few jobs that were wouldn't even acknowledge my application with a form rejection letter. It was my last week at the Dallas Morning News, and I was thinking I'd be heading back to Houston to bum off my sister a little bit longer when I get a Facebook message inviting me to come in for an interview with a magazine in town. The last week of my internship. 

I went to the interview on my last day at the DMN and was offered the job two days later.

Again: Perfect Provision. Perfect Timing.

And when I lost my job at CURE and spent almost a year unemployed and working part-time gigs that barely covered gas and groceries (let's not even talk about my $800+ rent and other bills). I ended up being offered the chance to student teach on the fly, and that led to me applying to a lot of school districts and being met with lots of silence. As a family, we traveled to Nigeria and I ended up spending an extra week there while my siblings headed back. During that week, I tried to come to terms with going back to unemployment and uncertainty when a friend messaged me and offered me a summer gig with Teach for America. No application. No interview.

And then the last week of the summer gig, a friend connects me to her school director. And I get an interview the day after my last day with TFA. I go in that morning, go through the whole interview-sample teach deal, and end up being offered the job by 5pm.

If all of those situations (that all happened within the span of just two years of my life) don't confirm that God is good and He provides, I'm not sure what will. I knew that I could trust that He would come through at the time He feels is right. Even when I don't like the timing and I wish it would happen faster, I have learned to have peace during the wait because He ALWAYS provides. Always. I don't doubt it.

Or maybe I was beginning to doubt it again. Or maybe He knows that others doubt His ability to provide. But whichever it is... God has done it again.

This mission trip to India is expensive. Almost $4000 to be exact. But I very strongly felt God was calling to do this--to give more of my time and my life to Him. Going on this mission trip feels like part of the beginning steps of that. There was some criticism from family and friends--which from a practical standpoint was understandable--where was I going to get that much money from? If I had that much money to spend, why would I skimp in other places? Or be less giving to other things? Why wasn't I saving more? Why wouldn't the church pay? Shouldn't these things be free since you're doing God's work?

I steeled myself against all of it and simply trusted that God would provide. We see him as Jehovah Jireh many times in His word, but I had also seen it so many times in my life. So I trusted in that. I put down 10% of the payment and then trusted God would send provision in other ways.

I'll say that He helped me a lot more than I helped myself. Especially because I did a horrible job actually fundraising for this mission trip. I knew I was going to India sometime in December, and didn't start posting about it until around February. And even then, I only posted on Facebook. I meant to sit down and send out a mass email to family and friends... and that kept being put off. I meant to mail thank you letters (and add in a request for support) to everyone who helped support me on the run I did to raise money for Sabeena... and that kept putting it off. Besides posting occasionally on Facebook, I did absolutely NO fundraising. And yet people gave...

The best things is that I don't even really know who all gave. Almost all of the people who gave to support me did so anonymously. And almost all of them gave around $200 and more! It was so uplifting to see this.

But... it was June and I still had over $2000 left to pay. I put in a bit more and got it down to around $1800, but that was still a lot of money for me to expect to appear in one month. Right before Peru, I finally sent out letters to everyone who supported me on my run. I got one response back that was uplifting, but I had no clue if anyone else would give.

I came back from Peru and had two weeks before India. There was still $1700 to raise.

One week before India... still $1700. I sent that mass e-mail I was planning to spend ages ago and never did. Maybe if all my friends gave like $20 or more, I'd get there.

Three days before India... still $1700.

And that's when the doubt began creeping in. I knew that God would provide, He always has before. But I was beginning to worry about the how.

I remember coming to the church to drop some things off with our group leader and telling her and another girl about my doubt. They said encouraging words, and she prayed over me and I felt peace wash over me again. I then went to speak to the missions associate and she told me not to worry about it, we'd figure out how to get that $1700 paid when I returned. Focus on your trip, she said. We'll worry about the money later.

So I went home and continued to pray and just trust that God would provide as He always has.

The next day, I got this e-mail:


I was sitting in the summer school I was subbing for and I had to restrain myself from screaming. I also had to stop myself from crying the tears of joys that I felt about to burst. 

HE IS THE GREAT PROVIDER. My Jehovah Jireh. There is no doubt it. 

And while the timing might have seemed crazy, one of my friends made a point: It's a testimony I can now give that will give Him glory. And that's what matters. If I had all the money taken care of way in advance, would I sing His praises as much as I am now? Possibly not. 

Would I have gotten 25 responses back from my mass e-mail (I re-messaged them this good news immediately) that also sang His praise and gave Him the glory? Probably not. 

His Perfect Provision. His Perfect Timing. All for His glory. 

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