“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” ~ James 1:12
I began to feel knots in my stomach as if something was wrong. We walked into an empty room. My other coworker, who works in a different department, began to speak. She knew I wanted to attend our church’s annual ladies retreat that was coming up in April. Unfortunately, by the time I went to register, all the slots were filled and there were no more scholarships to give out. I was placed on a waiting list and should a slot become available, I would have to pay the full cost of $175. I came to the conclusion that maybe this wasn’t God’s timing and I accepted the fact that I couldn’t go. I was pretty disappointed needless to say and she knew about it.
She began to tell me how a slot became open and I was going to the retreat. I was a little confused because I didn’t have the money and wasn’t exactly sure how she knew I could go. Little did I know a few of my coworkers and friends were trying to make this happen for me. My friend proceeded to tell me that after talking with her husband, they decided they would pay for me to attend. She knew how badly I wanted to go, and because she couldn’t, she wanted to bless me and give me the opportunity to experience what she had in the past. Because she paid for my slot, I was moved to the top of the list and for whatever reason, someone cancelled allowing me to take their place.
It took a few seconds for it to completely register and to understand what she was saying. Once it did, my eyes began to fill with tears. (Yes I cry a lot.) Once again I was humbled and reminded of God’s presence. It was as if He was saying, “I hear your cries and I know your struggles. Here is a blessing to remind you that I am with you always and if you stay faithful throughout all the trials, your reward will be so much greater.” God used my friend and those around me to be a blessing. During a very trying time, I was given hope and my faith was renewed. I was able to refocus and march forward so I could handle whatever came my way. Although I don’t hope and pray for trials, I know they will come. And although it may difficult I need to keep my eyes on the Lord so that when the blessings do come, I am all the more thankful!