A few months ago, I received a flyer in the mail advertising a writing workshop camp at a Christian college, and as an aspiring author I obviously wanted to go. It sounded really cool, and the thought that it could give me a jump-start on my writing career was very exciting. The only problem was, it was out-of-state and I would have to pay not just for the camp itself but also for round-trip plane tickets and a hotel room for my mom to stay in for the week. It would’ve been at least $1,000 altogether, but I was determined to go. I kept telling myself that all things are possible for the one who believes, and I prayed in faith time and again for the money. I really felt that I was supposed to go to that camp, and because of my extreme desire to go, I kind of took the situation into my own hands and submitted an essay to a contest with a $1,000 prize. The problem was, I did that immediately–even before praying. I felt really guilty for not trusting God to act for me, and in the end I didn’t win the contest despite my firm faith that I would be in attendance at that camp. Needless to say, I’m not going to that camp this year.
But after I realized my mistake with taking the situation in my own hands, I began to pray that God would allow me to get the money in His time and His way. I knew that if I was meant to be at that camp, then I would be no mater what crazy thing God had to do to get me the money. If He had to send me a $1,000 in the mail from an anonymous benefactor, I knew He could do that. If it meant me finding several hundred dollar bills just blowing down the sidewalk, I knew He could do that.
As the weeks went on and my prayers grew increasingly few and far between, I began to lose hope that I would have the privilege of singing His praise from that camp like I thought I was going to. I don’t know why I felt so strongly that I was meant to go, or if God really did want me to but had to say no because He has something better for me planned. I don’t know, but I trust that God does know and that’s all that really matters.
But today, when my mom brought the mail in, she handed me an envelope addressed to me from an organization that I had submitted a speech to earlier this school year. Due to poor communication or whatever else might have happened, I never heard back on my speech’s standing and had to just assume that I had lost (and I knew for sure I had lost when they announced the over-all national winner a few months ago). I opened up the envelope, and was surprised to find a check made out to me. It was no where near the $1,000 that I had prayed for, but it’s a pretty decent amount for not expecting anything.
I knew immediately that God was trying to show me that He had heard my prayers, and while it wasn’t the $1,000 I needed to go to camp, He still cared enough to give me a little bit. I thought it was amazing that I had prayed for money for so long, and right when I was giving up on the camp and right when I least expected it, a check came in the mail for me. I had forgotten about that contest and moved on, but God was working it all out. God is good, isn’t He?
It’s obviously not His will that I attend that camp this year, but I have hope that He might have it in the plans for next year or even the year after that. Sometimes God says yes, sometimes God says no, but sometimes He says wait. And I’m willing to wait on God because I know that He holds the world in His hands and loves me more than I can imagine.
No matter your situation, just keep praying and know that God is listening. He does hear your prayers, He does care about you, and He is working in your life for good. Like Danny Gokey said: “Maybe you just haven’t seen it yet.”