In February (1989) I found that the campus pastor, Robert Sheppard, was the one who had canceled and made the spot available for me. It had been his life-long desire to go to Israel, but it was not going to work out financially for him to be able to go. When I discovered this, I went to prayer. I asked God to please make it possible for him to go on this study tour....to somehow surprise him. I did not feel it was right for me to go, and him not be able to. That would have left me feeling quite guilty.
My friend Brenda began to feel that the trip was going to be too much of a burden on her family since they had just bought a house. She wanted to back out if there was someone to take her place. Then I learned that there was going to be a collection on campus to raise the money to pay Pastor Sheppard’s expenses and send him on his dream trip to Israel. Enough was collected to not only pay his trip, but there was an additional $400 for him to use as spending money. The best part of it all was that it was a total surprise to him!!! They surprised him in chapel when the presented the money to him as a gift. God had answered my specific prayer to give him the trip as a surprise, literally! Wow!! What a God!!!!
Pastor Sheppard gave a sermon on God’s Best. He told how he had wanted to go on this trip. His family planned to pool their money together to pay his way, but there just was not going to be enough funds. His wife Gail, knowing how badly he wanted to go, suggested he borrow the money. He did not feel that would be right. He made the decision to wait for God’s timing for his trip to Israel.
God had it planned all along to give him this trip. If Pastor Sheppard had borrowed money, he would have missed God’s best. The lesson is to wait for God’s timing. I want His best in my life. Sometimes I get too eager, too impatient, and I try to do things in my own way. It never works out the way it should. I have been learning to “wait upon the Lord.”