"The faith of him who is constantly advancing does not weaken; for above, beneath, beyond he recognizes Infinite Love, working out all things to accomplish His good purpose."1
My youngest daughter was accepted to the University of Maryland. But one big problem arose: they had no place for her to stay. Room and board were at full capacity; so she was put on a waiting list for another year and a half. Of course, I reassured my child that God would work things out, as He always does, and that there is nothing the God of possibilities cannot fix.
A couple of weeks later, I received a call from my eighty-four years young adopted mother, “You don’t worry about a thing, my youngest daughter is about to close on her house, and there will be plenty of room for your child to stay.” You know how some mothers of that age just take charge of things. Believe me — if she called to let me know that it is taken care of, then it is taken care of — and so I taught my daughter.
My daughter was so excited about going off to college; let me give you an example of her excitement. Every necessity that she thought that she needed for college, she purchased herself. Every paycheck went for something: a radio, television, sheets, pillowcases, towels, bedspread, bath towels — you name it, she purchased it with her own hard-earned money. The only thing that remained missing was the bed.
I was so impressed; I thought, “My child is really growing up in front of mine eyes, taking full responsibility of things. I can see that she is becoming so independent, and she is looking forward to this new phase in her life.” I was excited for her.
Then one day I received a call from the new homeowner-to-be, who said, “I went for my last walk through at the house, and the basement was flooded with water. So, I had to back out on my contract.” She asked, “What are you going to do?” I could hear the concern in her voice. I reassured her that “God knows what I am supposed to do; He will work it out.” I told my daughter to study hard and get good grades — and she did; God knows that. He will work it out. She is so excited about her accomplishments; He knows.
Joining Together in Prayer
Then I asked her to join me in prayer. I said to her, “Let us pray that He will work it out.” My reason for asking her to join me in prayer was not only to petition God for help, but also to ease her concern, and to reassure her that God has it under control. I truly believe that, from the bottom of my heart. He knows the end from the beginning, right! That tells me that He must have worked out the beginning to take us to the end. Don’t you think?
Always, always pay attention when disappointments take place in your life; pay close attention to what happens. What spirit kicks in? Is it the spirit of fear, or the spirit of calmness? Do you know that God gives us comfort in every situation we encounter; yes, every situation, in everything.
"The divine command was: 'Go forward.' They were not to wait until the way was made plain, and they could comprehend the entire plan of their deliverance. God’s cause is onward, and He will open a path before His people. To hesitate and murmur is to manifest distrust in the Holy One of Israel."2
Remember not only is Christ our Lord, Savior, and King; God is also our Father in heaven. What do parents do best? They plan for their children, way in advance. Was that what I was doing for my daughter. Give God some credit, will you. There is nothing that He did not think of pertaining to our survival, including everything needed for our children.
After receiving that call from the young lady, I decided that there was plenty of time to deal with the situation; so, we would continue planning — no way was I going to shatter my child’s hopes. It was as if God was telling me not to give her the bad news. I could hear God in my heart saying, “Wait until she is ready to buy the bed.”
Lo and behold, it happened, the knock on my bedroom door; I knew the time had come. “Mom, can we look at some beds online.” I said to her, “Come in, let’s talk.” Right away, she asked, “Is there something wrong?” I responded, “Nothing is wrong, but there is a slight change in our plans. I want you to start looking for apartments online. There is nothing God cannot handle. Things will fall right into place.”
Scripture tells us that His will and good pleasure will be accomplished (Isaiah 14:27; Philippians 2:13). I believe that. I shared with her the news that had I received. I included her in the online search for rentals near the school. She was excited because she was a part of the search.
Then came the day for us to get on the road, still having not found a place for my child to live. My brother was outside, having travelled all the way from Pennsylvania to New York to help us. I was fighting to get up out my bed, suffering from dizzy spells and vomiting. I simply could not get up. I was more worried than I thought. My seventeen-year-old child going off on her own for the first time, and we still had no place for her to live.
Questions to Ponder #1
Was God testing my trust in Him? Did He know that, even though I was not feeling well, I was going to get up and get in that car to drive four and a half hours? Did He know that I was going to take my daughter to Washington, D.C., even though I had not found a place for her to room? Did He want me to give in? Or did He want us to keep moving, putting all in His care, as He has told us to do (Matthew 6:33)? Was He going to just let go of us? I did not think so at all.
Questions to Ponder #2
What would you have done? I knew God, and God alone was my only refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). I was in big trouble; so, there was no substitute for His strength in the place of my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Exercising faith during this trial was my test! I want you to picture my conversation with Him: “Lord, your strength is perfect in my weakness; thank you for your favor.”
Remember, I was still dizzy, about to get in my car, after finally getting dressed. I was telling God that I was holding on to His strength, as He told me to do. Greater are you, Lord, that is in me, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Lord, I am about to get in my car to drive over four hours to Washington, D.C. — while still dizzy. Yes, He told me to take hold of His strength. He told me that my weakness becomes strong in His perfect strength. He told me that He is nigh to all who call upon Him, who call upon Him in truth (Psalm 145:18).
This is where God’s promises play a big part; and where you are going to see His word manifest and come alive. We must call on Him to bring His word into life, by speaking and claiming it in your circumstances. So, I got in my car, and we drove for four hours, arriving in D.C. around midnight. We thought that we were lost, so I called my first appointment. I explained to the owner that I was not exactly sure where I was, but I knew that I was close by. I told her that I was not feeling well, for I was having a little dizzy spell.
God's Ways Are Perfect
To show you how God does everything so perfect, when we turned the corner for our first appointment, the lady was already there standing on her porch with a cup of hot mint tea and some crackers in her hand. Not only that, but she said, “Y’all don’t have to go anywhere tonight; stay here, get a feel of the place, try the place out.” Immediately, God showed me that that was the place that He had reserved for us to stay permanently.
Yes, to hesitate and murmur is to distrust in the Holy One of Israel. God in His providence brought the Hebrews into the mountain fastness with the Red Sea before them. All that He might work out their miraculous deliverance and forever rid them of their enemies. He might have saved them in any other way, but He chose this method to test their faith and strengthen their trust in Him.
"The Lord is now dealing with His people who believe present truth. He designs to bring about momentous results, and while in His providence He is working toward this end, He says to His people: ‘Go forward.’ True, the path is not yet opened; but when they move on in the strength of faith and courage, God will make the way plain before their eyes."3
Yes, we serve a God who cares and delivers.
- Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1917), 660.
- Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1876), vol. 4, 25.
- Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1876), vol. 4, 26.