God’s Timing is the Best and Other Stories of Encouragement

God is faithful and is a gracious Provider. For the past two months, I have been working on collecting a series of stories of God’s provisions and guidance in the life of His people to publish here. It is so inspiring and uplifting to hear such real-life stories. In this article, I will share with you what the Lord has been doing in my own life in the past year.

God withholds things

As I have been reflecting on my life in recent years this is one lesson I can share. That is sometimes God withholds earthly blessings. Being Sovereign He knows when to give and when not to give. We need to appreciate this about God.

In earlier years of my life, I leaned toward having more earthly blessings. It happened that ‘money’ became one God I served. A lot of my dreams and thoughts were driven toward acquiring materialistic possessions. However, God put me in a position of joblessness of about five years in the past seven years. God graciously flushed out my earthly passions and put in me a fresh desire for Him. Learning to lean upon the Lord is a delightful experience that any other thing or person can’t bring into our life.

At the time of this writing, my family has been experiencing the longest period of joblessness we have had so far. But honestly, this time has been a time of more joy in our life. Only because the Lord has taught me to trust in Him and delight in His fellowship.

He Provides

At the beginning of the year, I designed a proposal to save some money and submitted it to my wife. That is what people do when they don’t have a steady income – look for places to cut expenses and save.

My plan was to save a few thousand dollars over the next six months by cutting short a vital expense. It was a detailed and complex plan. Perhaps it was more from human thinking than involving God’s guidance. Soon, it became clear to me that it was more of the former one. Many people including our church leaders were praying for us to have wisdom. A quick side note on seeking God’s will – many times God answers us through the prayers and counsel of others. So whenever possible it is a good practice to request the prayers and guidance of godly individuals. It was a great lesson of learning for me because my preference is generally to be silent and private when it comes to personal matters. So thankful to God for the lessons He is graciously teaching me.

Joel Hernandez singing ‘Too much Stuff’ song @MOP 2021

On the day when our elders prayed together with us, I turned to a devotional on Proverbs by Chuck Swindoll. The first chapter contained the following:

‘Horizontal solutions give us the illusion of greater security and pleasure, so we tend to either reject or ignore vertical remedies to our challenges. For example, when under the gun of some deadline, we desperately search for a tangible way out rather than heed God’s counsel to trust Him.’

Immediately, God’s word became clear to me that what I was attempting was a ‘horizontal solution’ than a vertically mediated one. So we prayerfully decided not to pursue the money saving plan but rather to wait upon the Lord. As it turned out, within the following next four months God gave us more than four times the money which we might have saved through my detailed plan!

MOP 2021 Pic
Need 2 cakes when there are 50 young souls to celebrate a BD – @Galilee
Chai or Chai Tea or Masala Tea in the making! – @ Galilee
Any Cannoli lovers?
Layers of Beauty: North Carolina Mountains
A Q&A in Progress @ Galilee 2021
Paul Rabideau leading a seminar@ MOP
Bear cubs playing on a tree near Damascus, Virginia

His timing is the best

Another reason for my money saving plan was my desire to travel. My family, including our three-year-old daughter, likes traveling and meeting new people. I mean who doesn’t like to, right? We had some ideas on how to do that. Also, we wanted to attend a Christian conference though we didn’t have any clear idea where or which one.

But God had clear plans for us. So far, this year has become the longest we have ever traveled including a 50-day road trip. We got to attend the Missionary Orientation Program in Pennsylvania, a Bible Study and Discipleship Program called Galilee in Louisiana, and a Family Camp in Missouri. It was so exciting to see how the Lord is moving in the hearts of so many people we met at all these places to desire to know Him more and serve the Lord’s people. None of these programs or trips were in my imagination at the beginning of the year. When God clearly opened the door wide, we were able to travel extensively, meet many new people, and most importantly attend some very special programs.

A Car Redeemed

I mentioned the 50-day road trip this Summer. Last year around October the only old car we had was towed to a workshop. After some inspection it became clear that the car had some engine issues and it would not be cost-effective to repair it. The options were to sell it to a scrap yard or put a new engine on it. But again God had a different option. A dear friend of ours, and a chapel member, came forward and offered to fix the engine issues, if at all possible, at no cost to us. Though not a professional mechanic, this friend worked on this demanding and time-consuming job to fix it despite having big family events to be busy with. Guess what? Within a short time, God allowed him to fix it and we had our car back – almost like new! That was a kind and touching unbelievable help at a real time of need. Months later, we had our longest trip ever in the same car and it’s still going by God’s grace.

Sharing Encouragement

I am sharing these stories with the hope of encouraging you to wait upon the Lord. The Lord is worthy to be praised at all times. He is faithful and He knows what we need. The reason behind this Salt & Light series on this website is to share stories that encourage believers and praise God for the work He is doing in all generations. About four years back when we started Renew In Knowledge that was the same goal – to encourage believers who struggle and suffer.

Jesus Loves Me This I Know: Oran Lambright & Galilee 2021 Team

Everyone goes through enough problems. Chances are you might have experienced some of the same struggles your counterparts are facing. Some of you might have gone through deep loss and pain. If you have been encouraged by someone at the right moment, I am sure you know the value of it. Now it is your turn to reach out to someone and support them. Be salt & light.

Our Lord is a mighty Provider and Sovereign. He knows when to give and when not to; what to give and what not to; who to give to and who not to. Let’s seek and submit to His will and trust Him with our whole hearts. Praise His name forever and ever.

Dijo and his sweet wife Merlyn reside in Lubbock with their daughter. God’s love transforms lives and as a recipient of His immense love, he is passionate to share about it with others. Renew In Knowledge sprouted from his vision to refresh and motivate others, and was co-founded with prayer and dedication from other like-minded team members.

Visit dijojohn.com to read more. Click this link to read other articles of Dijo published in Renew In Knowledge.