The story is told of a youth from India who started out on a four-day journey of faith. He never intended it to end up that way, but God had a greater purpose in mind.
It started with an advertisement in a sweet shop window—for an upcoming seminar in a city far away from his home village. The youth had no money but since the seminar promised reimbursement for expenses, he borrowed what he needed for a bus ticket to the city. He planned to pay off the debt just as soon as he received the reimbursement. The young man purchased a bus ticket and settled down for the long ride to the city. Alighting from the bus at the end of its route, he discovered that he had purchased his ticket to the wrong city. He had a problem. He did not have enough money left to buy another ticket to get him to his proper destination. Nor did he have enough to purchase a ticket back home.
The youth prayed to God for help. “Show me how to get the money and I’ll give my life to you.” Almost immediately, a man in an oxcart offered to give him a ride to the next village where he could find lodging for the night. Knowing that this would get him closer to the seminar, the young man jumped into the cart and thanked the man for his kindness.
That evening he was closer to his destination but now he had another problem. He was closer to his destination, but there was no money for the hotel for the night. Once again, the young man prayed. “God, show me how to get the money and I will give my life to you.” Almost immediately, a man stepped out of a nearby doorway and offered to let him spend the night at his establishment.
The next morning, the young man awoke and realized he had another problem. He was closer to his destination, he had had a good night’s rest, but now he had no money for a bus ticket for the rest of the way to the city. He fell to his knees and began to pray. “God, show me how to get the money and I will give my life to you.” No sooner had these words departed his lips than the house-owner approached and offered to buy his ticket for the balance of the trip.
The youth finally arrived at the seminar and the organizer came to him and said, “We have a problem. There is no money for the reimbursement. We are sorry, but we cannot reimburse your expenses.” This was the worst problem of all. He had arrived at his destination, he had found lodging for the night, he had paid for the many bus tickets. But now he could not repay the loan he had taken out. One more time the youth turned to God. “God,” he prayed, “show me how to get the money and I will give my life to you.” And the seminar organizers changed their mind and reimbursed the young man for his expenses. When he returned home to his village, he was able to pay off the debt.
Some will try to explain away the little “coincidences” in this young man’s story, but the truth is this experience was from God and taught the youth to lean on Him. No matter what happens in life, God is watching and He is working to bring about good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. All along the way, He is asking believers to step out in faith, to trust Him to make it happen.
The lesson God wants us to learn is a simple one: Pray and experience God. Don’t make it complicated by trying to do it in your own strength. Just pray. And then watch God go to work in your life.