Saturday, November 15, 2008

Twice Denied, Twice Confirmed

“Recently you submitted a request for scholarship assistance for the LITTWORLD 2006 conference in Brazil…Unfortunately, we do not have sufficient resources to provide you with scholarship assistance for LITTWORLD. We are sorry not to be able to help in this way.

We hope the Lord will provide you with funding from other sources, so that you can still join us at the conference.”

This was the email I received last Aug. 4 from Media Associates International, the sponsor of the LITTWORLD conference. While I was reading it, I felt at peace, even if the message meant I can not get financial assistance from them. Two years ago, I was able to attend the conference in the Philippines on a partial scholarship granted by them. It was a big help for me. I understood that this time, they had prioritized others. But even then, I was not disappointed. I know God could provide in some other ways.

I kept repeating to myself and to God that I trust Him and that with Him, nothing is impossible. He will make a way for me to get to the conference in Brazil. As I did so, I found myself crying. Have you ever felt that way? I don’t exactly know how to explain it. I was just pouring out my heart to God and telling Him He’s my only hope. Then the tears just kept flowing.

Within 30 minutes after I read the e-mail, I received a text message from someone I met in church recently. She said, “God loves you so much that He turns His ears to you constantly. He always answers your requests. Maybe not with a yes, but always with what’s best.”

I cried all the more. God loves me indeed He sent me this message through someone I barely knew and who didn’t know what I was going through. I felt so comforted. It was God’s soothing voice to me at a time I needed to hear from Him. It was an embrace from my heavenly Father. I lay down to sleep that night still in tears, but comforted by His loving kindness.

The following morning, another person sent me a text message at around 5:30. The message was sent so early, but it was so refreshing. The message read, “Praise the Lord, I’m setting aside $100 for your trip to Brazil…” My jaw dropped. I looked out the window, and saw the sun rising in the east. I raised my eyes to the heaven, and I could not help but cry again. In awe, I worshipped God, and thanked Him. I felt comforted again.

I was so amazed at how God could comfort me so quickly and assure me of His loving presence and provision. Three days later, I realized something else.

While reading the incident of how Jesus miraculously fed the 4,000 after He had earlier fed 5,000 people (Mark 8), I realized that this is the second time God had quickly assured me of his provision for my trip to Brazil. If you remember, last June, I was also hoping I would win the literary contest so I could be awarded the $425 scholarship (See “And the Winner Is…”). As you know, I didn’t win, but immediately, in just one day, I received financial gifts from three different people (well, they’re three couples actually). What’s so inspiring was that these generous people are full-time workers in the kingdom of God who also raise funds to support their family and their ministry. Yet they were more than willing to be vessels of God’s blessings.

And now, my earlier application for scholarship was not granted by the sponsor, but again, immediately, within 30 minutes and the morning after, God sent another confirmation of His provision. After feeding the 4,000, Jesus asked His disciples, “Don’t you understand yet?” (Mark 8:21). I felt a bit embarrassed when I realized that Jesus wasn’t just talking to His disciples, He was also speaking to me personally. Now I understand. Twice, He fed two different groups of hungry followers. Twice, I was denied the chance to earn for my conference fee, but immediately, in both instances God touched different people to share with me a portion of their God-given resources.

Are you in need of comfort and assurance that God will meet your needs? Remember your past victories and miracles. If God has done it before, He will do it again. God is not a one hit wonder. He has done it twice to me. On the other hand, if you think you have no miracle to remember, then begin trusting God that He is able to help those who humble themselves and call on Him. When we submit to His will, His method and timing, we set the stage for God to do a miracle. A door may be closed, but God can certainly open the windows of heaven to pour out His resources. Man’s denials could be God’s confirmation of His abundant blessings.

“So many are saying, “God will never rescue him!” But You, O Lord, are a shield around me; You are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the Lord, and He answered me from His holy mountain. I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me.” Psalm 3:2-5


marj said...

Hello Ate Yah! Sabi ni Ptr. Anthony hindi pa daw umuuwi ang celphone mo. Hmm.. mukhang gusto ni Lord na may bago kang phone this Christmas. =) I am praying for you.

Like you, I also have many miracles to remember. So, I continue to surrender to His will, His method & timing. Once again, I am grateful to the Lord for encouraging me tonight through the lessons you've also learned from Him. Soli Deo Gloria!

Marlene Legaspi-Munar said...

Yes, all glory to God alone! Ako rin I learned a lot sa preaching this morning. God is always teaching us valuable lessons and those who learn from them benefit the most. Thanks, you're an encouragement too!