Michael's Happenings

A Testimony to God's Power and Provision

This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles“, Psalm 34:6 NIV

I am compelled to write about how God has been taking care of me and my family since leaving my previous place of employment. Since He has done amazing things–that only He could do–it would be very wrong for me to keep silent. Honor should be given when honor is due, and I give honor to Him today.

When I left the firm in February, I was on a very good salary but had no savings due to a number of projects we’d done around the house. And there was a major tax bill due within a couple of weeks. I was hoping that there would be some new project work via Collaboration Success Advisors fairly quickly, but that didn’t materialize as I had hoped. A friend here in New Zealand asked me just after leaving where I was at and what I was thinking of doing, and he spontanously offered that if I needed any money for anything, to just call and give a bank account number. I didn’t ask for him to say that … but he offered … and I saw that as God’s way of getting my tax bill paid. The money wasn’t a gift, however, but rather an advance on some work that I will do for him and his business at some point in the future (still to be determined).

As time went on, there were a few projects here and there, but nothing major, and I began to doubt whether I’d done the right thing in leaving the firm … particularly when another major tax bill was sprung upon me, due April 7. I had been told about it a year earlier, but had forgotten about it, and so when it was announced by letter one Saturday morning, I felt very deeply in trouble. When the time came to pay the bill, and no major projects were forthcoming, I transferred the money from my VISA card into my cheque account, and paid for it that way. Obviously that meant I was paying a fairly high interest rate until the amount was settled, but I decided that it would be okay.

As funny as it might sound, one of the major ways that I found to remember to be faithful in “the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23) was running. As I ran along the quiet but long back roads of the Canterbury plains, it became a time and place for prayer … for crying out to God for help, for speaking words to myself that “I must remain faithful”, and “that I must keep on going, even when the going is hard”. Words cannot express how much running has meant to me this year, in keeping me following after the Lord.

As the middle of April came, and I forecast out my bills and income for the next month, it was plain to see that I had run out of money. I had exhausted my overdraft through paying for food and family expenses, and the second tax bill, plus some other bills, had drained my VISA card limit. There was no money left. There were no projects on the horizon that would fix the situation. And at times when there is nothing left, and there is no hope … that’s often when God decides to come through … for then it is plain that it could only have been God.

God decided to come through in the form of an email that I received very early on April 20 (which, even that was amazing … because I had been saying to myself as a form of remembering to walk the path with faithfulness … “It only takes one email”). It was an enquiry about how I could help a major organization with their collaboration strategy, and in the days that followed, and even though it involved a trip up to the United States, the amount of money, the specific details on the dates, the flights that I would need to take … everything fell into place perfectly. Here’s an example: the organization that contacted me originally requested five days of my time in New York, which was fine, but I knew that there was another organization in California that wanted me for a day. We were going to meet in June, but I’d found out that May would be better. With five days in New York, however, unless I was willing to stay over the weekend, it wasn’t going to happen. And then … the New York organization reduced what they wanted to four days, and from Tuesday to Friday to boot, enabling me to fly into California on a Sunday, spend Monday up in Mountain View with my client there, and then experience a too short of a night on the red eye across to New York for four days. Even as I write this, I’m astounded at how only God could work all of that out.

One more example. On the Friday afternoon in New York, at about 2pm, the lead person from the organization said that we’d finish at about 3pm … the first time in the four days that we’d finish “early”. At 2.11pm I received an email from a law firm, asking if I’d be interested in a project as an expert witness, that I’d been recommended by another analyst firm, that they knew I lived in New Zealand, and that they’d be grateful if I could call or email at some time. Now this was 6am Saturday in New Zealand, so they probably didn’t expect an immediate answer. We traded a few emails, and then at 2.30pm I left the building I was in on Madison Avenue, walked down the street 200 metres or so, went up the lift and presented myself in the foyer of the law firm. “Here I am, let’s talk”. As we sat down to speak, what they wanted in an “expert” aligned precisely with the financial modelling work I’d done at Telecom New Zealand in the mid-90s, on exactly the same technology, and … more. Only God could have arranged that — a law firm I’d never heard of, the background required, the timing on that Friday, the fact that I was actually there in New York … incredible.

And going forward, there are more projects springing up, new opportunities that look ripe to come to fruition … and I praise God for his faithfulness to me and my family.

Kurt, another friend down here who goes to the same church as us, once asked me how I got contracts for my business. “God brings them when I need them”, was my honest answer. And I recounted to him the numerous times in my business life that He has brought projects and clients at just the right time. And even before then … the financing for my Master of Commerce in the early 1990s via winning an essay competition (which paid for the first year of the degree), and then winning a scholarship that I had no idea I was in the running for … which paid for the second year. Incredible … just incredible.

It can only be God.

Here’s the words of a song I wrote, inspired by Psalm 78:72:

Give me an undivided heart, that I may walk in your path,
Give me an undivided heart, and show the way.
Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
Give me an undivided heart.

Give me an undivided heart, that I may walk in your light,
Give me an undivided heart, so I won’t stray.
Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
Give me an undivided heart.

Give me an undivided heart, that I may walk in your love,
Give me an undivided heart, my Lord, I pray.
Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
Give me an undivided heart.

(If you want the tune, you’ll have to Skype me for a rendition!)

He is faithful! He works in ways that I can not explain so that the glory goes to Him!

If you are in trouble, lift your eyes to Him, lift your voice to Him, and cry out for His help.

Categories: Michael's Happenings