guest writer, Leanne Morrissey
In August 2004 my husband, three children and I moved to Fiji to work in a Bible College in Labasa. We intended to stay for 3 years.
God proved to me that ‘He Is’
One of the projects we had to finish was our garden beds. As we
lived in a rural area near a watercourse, we had to have a recycled sewage system. This is a system which purifies the water waste which is then used on garden beds. There were a lot of regulations required to have this system approved and without them we would not be able to get a certificate of occupancy and therefore not be able to rent out our house.
This was a lot of additional work for all of us. We had to lay all the irrigation system then cover it with a specific depth of mulch to meet the regulations. We had to have 3 garden beds 100 square metres each. This was a lot of work, but also cost a lot of money which was running out rapidly. We then had a big working bee with some of our friends who offered to bring cuttings from their gardens and help us plant them.
Two weeks before we were due to leave for Fiji the garden beds were finally finished and we phoned the council to organise an inspection. To our horror we were told that our garden beds were not high enough for regulations and we would have to buy another $900 worth of mulch to raise them. By this stage our money had run out. In my weakened state this was almost too much for me to bear. In my mind there was no possible way we could do it.
During our preparations to leave I became very weak emotionally, spiritually and physically. I felt like the packing up process and planning what we would need to take for 3 years was too much for me, but I pressed on. As we had built our house, we also had to finish a lot of things off before we left so it would be suitable to rent out. We believed we would need this income to help support us in Fiji.
During our preparations to leave God had provided us with money that we had not been expecting. We calculated that He had provided us with just enough to finish our house and we were very
excited and grateful. During our preparations however I felt that we wasted a lot of that money on things that it was not purposed for and I felt guilty. I felt sure that God was angry with us and we could not expect Him to provide any more because of our disobedience. After the news of our garden beds, the next Sunday in church I felt overwhelmed by this guilt and began to sob loudly. After the service my friends came to comfort me and asked me what the problem was. I told them of the problem we had and the guilt I felt. Then we went home.
Later that day in my room I became heavy with doubt that God really existed. During our preparations to move, as I became weaker physically and emotionally, doubt began to creep into my mind that God was real. My spirit was being weakened and my faith was now at breaking point. This was a very scary thought. Just then I noticed a scripture card which we had taped onto our bed. It was Psalm 23 …
The LORD is my shepherd: I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever
After reading this I quietly said to God “God if you are not real we are stuffed!”
That night we travelled back to town for church. During that service our pastor preached on the scripture in 1 Samuel 30:1-6. In this scripture King David and his men were coming home from battle and discovered that the Amalekites had burned their city with fire and taken their wives and children captive. David and his men were incredibly grieved and soon David’s men began speaking of stoning him. But “David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” (Samuel 30:6) This verse struck me and I realised that was what I had to do, but how?
Our Pastor went on to refer to the Psalms and the many times that David brought his problems to God but then went on to remember the great things God had done for him and strengthened himself by remembering God’s power and faithfulness. As our pastor preached I began to think back on all the miraculous things God had done in my life.
Suddenly I was overcome with what I can only describe as the “gift of faith”.
For a few moments I knew without any doubt whatsoever that God was real. It was almost as if He were standing there right in front of me. It was so much more than just “believing in God”. God was personally revealing himself to me and in that place doubt did not exist.
After the service a friend of mine handed James an envelope. “How much do you need to finish your garden beds?” she asked? “$900” James replied. He opened the envelope to find a cheque for $900! When she wrote that cheque she had no idea how much money we needed. Only God could have put that figure in her mind. Another demonstration of God’s existence.
On our drive home my husband and I were marvelling at God’s goodness towards us when all of a sudden our daughter, Erin, called out “Mum, that looks like letters in the cloud.” I looked out the car window into the night sky to see a cloud shining in the light of the full moon. Right in the middle of it, as if God Himself had written it, was the word “IS”.
God proved to me that night that He IS. He does exist! As well as that, He showed me that He is merciful. I felt that we had failed Him, but He proved to me that He will never fail us. God IS there. If we turn to Him in our need He will hear us and He will help us. I learned a lot that night that continues to help me now. Hard times still come, but now I know how to strengthen myself in the LORD. I look back to the times He has gotten me through in the past. I remember that He is faithful, and that He will never leave me nor forsake me. I do not allow doubt to enter my mind and I trust in Him.