“I want to share with you my story of the 17 containers!” was the line blurted out by Catherine excitedly during one of our weekly connect group meetings recently that brought us a story about trust, humility and the blessings of obedience.
The incident took place a few years ago when Catherine had already achieved her career height and was managing a very successful shipping company. One fine day in the middle of the week, she received a phone call from a potential client who wanted to hire 17 containers from them to load some goods from the outskirt of small town Keningau and to ship them out the following weekend. She immediately said it could be done eventhough knowing full well that at the time not just that they did not have the 17 containers, they did not even have a single container to spare.
Not willing to lose the chance to bring in extra revenue for the company, Catherine agreed almost too quickly to the deal. Only after she put down the phone that the thought sank in as to where and how she could get the huge number of containers. She did not waste any time and immediately put things into actions by pushing the team to start calling all the importers to return the containers. However, things were not heading the way she wanted as not a single container was being sent back, and that was also something out of the ordinary as usually, the importers would return the containers as soon as they had unloaded their goods. Matter was made worse when the client started calling Catherine almost every 10 minutes to chase for the containers as he needed time to load things, and to make arrangements for customs declaration and hauling. Stress and tension was building up in the office and driving everyone crazy!
“How are we going to resolve the problem?” a stressed out and frazzled Catherine asked helplessly. “A miracle! I need a miracle, a miracle from God!” she exclaimed and with that, she began to pray and prayed earnestly and with humility. She repented for her pride, greed and independence. She cried out desperately to God for help as she realised then the matter was beyond her control.
As Catherine was praying and through her tears, she heard a gentle voice speaking her, “So, do you still think that you are capable of settling everything all by yourself? I have blessed you with the ability to do all things and led your through many challenging circumstances but you never acknowledged me. Instead, you considered the past success the results of your own strength and capability!” Catherine’s tears just streamed down her cheeks and she acknowledged her own foolishness. She asked for forgiveness from the Lord and surrendered herself to Him.
Miracle did happen and Catherine did not have to wait long for it! Half an hour after her encounter with God, the importers started to return the containers one by one and in the end, there were more than what she would need. Not only had the problem with the 17 containers been resolved, Catherine was blessed with extra ones to cater for more sales. Praise God! That day Catherine came out with her spirit humbled and her faith renewed. She also came out with changed focus, perspective and priority!
After Catherine had finished relaying her story to us, we were all touched and humbled. Once again we were drawn back to the scripture verses we were looking at that night —
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Heartfelt thanks to Catherine for sharing the story with us to encourage us, and to remind us to trust and rely on our loving God, always!
7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”