THE UNEXPECTED BIRTH­DAY GIFT

Activated - - NEWS - By Maria Fon­taine, adapted

I have a dear friend who told me about some­thing that hap­pened on his birth­day. His car was in for re­pairs, and on this par­tic­u­lar day he was driv­ing some­one in their own car on an all-day ex­cur­sion. Planning to pick up his car from the shop af­ter his long day’s drive, he brought along a sub­stan­tial amount of money to pay for the re­pairs.

How­ever, when he went to col­lect his car, he dis­cov­ered that the en­ve­lope with the re­pair money wasn’t in his bag where he’d care­fully put it. He quickly called the owner of the car that he had chauf­feured to see if the money might have some­how fallen out of his bag in­side the car. “No, I’m very sorry, I don’t see it,” came the an­swer. My friend said that the ter­ri­ble sink­ing feel­ing, com­bined with the ex­haus­tion af­ter a long day of driv­ing, was over­whelm­ing. There was noth­ing to do but cry out to God that some­how the money would be re­turned. Yet the chances of that looked too small to even hope for.

He was heavy of heart and be­set by a bad mi­graine headache, and his birth­day, of all days, had turned into a dis­as­ter. Strug­gling with the mi­graine and worry about fi­nances, as well as blam­ing him­self that he had some­how al­lowed that money to be lost, he spent sev­eral hours try­ing to fig­ure out why this had hap­pened. Fi­nally, he chose to put the whole sit­u­a­tion into God’s hands and trust Him.

He went to work the next day feel­ing a peace that ev­ery­thing would work out for good. He wasn’t count­ing on see­ing those funds again; he just knew that some­how God would take care of things.

Mid­morn­ing he re­ceived a call. It was the woman he had chauf­feured the day be­fore. “We found the en­ve­lope with the money when we looked again in the car,” she said. “So we have it here safe and sound for you.”

What a re­lief and cause for praise. My friend was glad that he had cho­sen to en­trust ev­ery­thing to God’s care.

He could have been tempted to give in to de­spair and anx­i­ety. But he made the choice to praise God no mat­ter what cir­cum­stances he faced. It wasn’t about what God did or didn’t do for him or whether it looked like God was be­ing “good” or “bad” to him. What mat­tered was that he trusted Je­sus. He knew he could al­ways trust in God’s love, re­gard­less of what chal­lenges or losses he faced, be­cause Je­sus had given up ev­ery­thing—even His life—for him.

Be­ing a fol­lower of Je­sus doesn’t guar­an­tee that ev­ery­thing will al­ways work out the way we want it to. Nev­er­the­less, once we’ve done what we can, we can leave it with Him to do what He knows is best. Even if some­thing is lost or taken away, God will al­ways sup­ply, or re­di­rect us, or show us how we can do with­out some­thing we thought was needed. Through it all, we need to trust that He never fails and that He works all things to­gether for our good.

It takes faith to en­dure times of test­ing and loss. When we strive to give thanks in ev­ery­thing, we will be in a better po­si­tion to trust God to pro­vide what­ever He knows is best for us.

My friend got some­thing very pre­cious from Je­sus on his birth­day, the gift of re­in­forced faith that he could al­ways trust Him in all things. That is a present that will last for­ever.

Worry is blind and can­not dis­cern the fu­ture, but Je­sus sees the end from the be­gin­ning. In every dif­fi­culty He has His way pre­pared to bring re­lief.— Ellen White (1827–1915)

Pray, and let God worry.— Martin Luther (1483–1546)

Faith is a rea­son­ing trust, a trust which reck­ons thought­fully and con­fi­dently upon the trust­wor­thi­ness of God.— John R. Stott (1921–2011)

Worry im­plies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, pow­er­ful enough, or lov­ing enough to take care of what’s hap­pen­ing in our lives.— Fran­cis Chan (b. 1967)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own un­der­stand­ing; in all your ways ac­knowl­edge Him, and He shall di­rect your paths.— Proverbs 3:5–6

Trust in the Lord for­ever, for the Lord is a rock for all ages.— Isa­iah 26:4 CEB

I say to the Lord, “You are my refuge, my strong­hold! You are my God—the one I trust!”— Psalm 91:2 CEB

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and con­fi­dence.— Jeremiah 17:7 NLT

Com­mit ev­ery­thing you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.— Psalm 37:5 NLT

Trust God, my friends, and al­ways tell him each one of your con­cerns. God is our place of safety.— Psalm 62:8 CEV

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