Authored by Daniel Roselle
“We finally have our tickets,” my wife said; with an upbeat tone in her voice she added, “and thank the Lord we have 50 dollars in change.” This was when we were traveling from the United States to Panama in the late ’70s. We had saved some money, but not nearly enough for our family of five to set up in a new country. I was definitely thankful for the extra cash, but was seriously wondering what we were going to do when we arrived, and how I was going to take care of my family. I admit I was worried. We didn’t know anyone in Panama, but since that was where we felt God was leading us, we were trusting in His continued supply.
We soon found out that our trusting wasn’t in vain!
A few days before our departure for Panama, we had an unexpected visit from a friend whom we hadn’t seen in years. When he heard that we had a total of fifty dollars for landing money, he slowly and dramatically started pulling $100 bills out of his pocket. After the tenth one, he said, “Now you have a thousand and fifty dollars for your trip.” The Lord had come through just in time!
I was reminded of this just-in-time miracle recently when going through a difficult situation. I had been desperate with the Lord, asking Him for a solution, some sort of divine intervention to help me make it through the difficulty. As I was sitting in a quiet and secluded spot surrounded by trees and sky, I pleaded with the Lord for this issue, crying and pouring out my heart like I hadn’t done for quite some time. I had been through some pretty desperate times in my life, but this moment was every bit as trying as any I could remember.
As I sat there in silence, the Lord spoke clearly to my heart. He told me to think back to how He had worked in my life in the past. Had He ever failed to supply, provide, guide, or direct me? The answer of course was a definite “no.” He had always provided, abundantly at that. When I had been in a tight spot and desperate for a solution, or for direction, or godly counsel, or simply in need of money to survive, God had come through with some pretty amazing last-minute rescues.
I recall the time we needed to pay our rent, and, as usual with our growing family, our finances were tight. We were in a foreign country and needed exactly $100 to pay our rent that very day. We didn’t know how it would come, but we had been praying and we knew that He would supply … somehow. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised when I opened an envelope that was sitting in our mailbox and discovered a hundred-dollar check inside, no note included. The awesome thing was that the check was drawn on a local bank, which meant I could cash it immediately and have the cash in hand for our rent that afternoon. Talk about a last-minute rescue!
Another time we were staying at a friend’s house for a few weeks. Unexpected conditions arose, which meant that we needed to leave as soon as possible. With no car, we were stuck. That night, in desperation, we asked God for another miracle. The next morning, a close friend called and said that in two days she would be passing through the city we were in. Not only that, but when we asked her where she was going, it turned out to be the exact place we needed to go, which was over 1,000 miles away. When we asked if we could travel with her, her immediate response was, “Yes, of course!” She came, we left, and once again, God had come through for us just in time.
There was also a time when once again we were in a foreign country with three small children. Our living situation was, to put it very mildly, difficult. We moved once, then twice, as I couldn’t find a job. Our resources were exhausted, and so were we. I remember taking a walk, asking God to show us clearly what we should do and where we should go. Within a day or two, I found two jobs and we found a more permanent place to live. Once again, God came to our rescue. The answer had come, at what seemed to me, in the nick of time—just when I was about ready to give up.
Another time, in the mid-1980s, my family and I were traveling to yet another foreign country after visiting relatives in the United States. We didn’t have all the money in hand, but the Lord told us to book our tickets on the earliest flight we could get. I bet you can guess what happened. You’re right!—The Lord supplied the money we needed through one of our supporters even though we hadn’t told him of our plans.
These experiences—and countless others I don’t have the time right now to recount—have helped me to understand that the situations we label “impossible” are the ones He sees as opportunities to show us His power and His interest in caring for us and providing for our needs. Which reminds me of a verse that I love to claim whenever I’m in need of His help: “And my God will meet all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”1
It’s nice to know that there are others He chose to help in the nick of time. In the Bible there are a number of instances recorded where God waited until the eleventh hour to rescue someone or to perform the miracle that was needed. Most notable is the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham took his son Isaac up a mountain where he intended to sacrifice his son in obedience to God’s command.2 Abraham builds the stone altar, sets the wood on the altar, and then ties up his son and lays him on the altar. As he picks up the knife to slay his son, the angel calls out of heaven and stops him. “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”3 Here was a just-in-time rescue if ever there was one.
Another interesting story is found in Joshua chapter 3. The Israelites, after 40 years of wandering, are finally ready to enter the Promised Land. They are faced with a not-so-little problem: They need to cross the Jordan River. This river was no stream. And not only is it a big river, but at that time of year, it was at “flood stage.”4 Joshua, with orders from the Lord, tells his people to follow the priests who are carrying the Ark of the Covenant. There was no logical way they could get across the river, no visible path or bridge for them to cross. Nevertheless, Joshua proceeded by faith, trusting in the Lord’s command. However, I find it interesting that the water of the Jordan River didn’t part until the moment that the priests put their feet into the swollen waters. They had to do their part and show that they believed God’s command before the miracle was done.
Here’s how the Bible describes the crossing of the Jordan River: “Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.”5 While this wasn’t a last-minute, just-in-time rescue, it was still a miracle God performed at the last minute—right when the priests’ faith may have faltered or when the overflowing water may have pulled them into the river, and who knows what would have happened to them or the Ark.
It seems to me that God sometimes likes to be mysterious. He knows how things are going to turn out; He knows what choices we’ll be making. And since He lives in a timeless universe, there is no just-in-time scenario. Since He is all-knowing, He knows that the solutions will be there for us at the right time, when it needs to be there. I believe it encourages the Lord to see our faith and trust in Him even through difficult and trying circumstances. I admit that I have a difficult time waiting for those last-minute answers, solutions, or even rescues, but I want to wait. I want to trust. I choose to believe that God will do what needs to be done at the best possible time.
You may be having some difficulty of your own. Maybe you’ve recently found yourself in a tricky situation and you’re not sure what to do. It could have something to do with your family, your health or the health of someone close to you, your school, your friendships, or even a relationship. Whatever it may be, if you are worried and have no idea what’s going to happen, don’t lose hope!
In these types of situations, the best thing you can do is pour your heart out to God. Let Him know how you’re feeling. Tell Him what’s going on in your heart and mind. Then TRUST! Trusting God means leaving everything up to Him and letting Him sort it out for you. His love will see you through, even though at the moment everything might seem dark and you may be confused or discouraged. Things will work out. Your days will not continue to be bleak. It might not be as soon as you ask for or hope, but it will be just in time!
1 Philippians 4:19 NASB
2 Genesis 22
3 Genesis 22:12
4 Joshua 3:15
5 Joshua 3:17 ESV
Read by Stephen Larriva. Music by sindustry(CC). Copyright© 2012 by The Family International