This is a story of how Yahweh miraculously helped me go through college and has taught me how to trust Him even in the midst of difficulties. I hope this story will inspire you to believe that Yahweh is indeed a living God who will never leave you nor forsake you!
Looking back in my life, there are just so many instances where I’ve seen how Yahweh directed my path and helped me through some of the greatest trials. Chief among them was how He helped me get through my college years.
I was born into a poor family. I spent my early childhood in a squatter’s area. It isn’t a great place to live but I love the fact that there are a lot of kids in our community to play with.
In my young mind, I have already seen the ugly side of life. We live near a river and so, there is a lot of garbage. The place is congested and people do their best just to make ends meet.
My parents were hardworking people. They worked so hard to give us a decent meal every day. I remember when we were eating together. My father suddenly fell out of his chair. He has been working all night and the lack of sleep just wrecked his health.
If there’s one important thing that my father has taught me, it is the importance of education. When I was a kid, he always reminded me of how finishing my studies would allow me to get a better life than what we had at that time. He told me how it unlocks a lot of wonderful opportunities and how it can help me fulfill my dreams.
I took his advice seriously.
So when I went to college, I was devastated at the prospect that I couldn’t proceed. They mentioned that they would let my elder brother finish college first.
That didn’t stop me. I still applied and took college entrance exams from different universities. Though I know that I might not even get to college, I just prepare myself just in case God will make a way for me.
And yes He did!
My auntie told me that there’s a special scholarship program in their city and all I need is to meet their grading requirements.
Lo and behold, my grades were enough for me to be enrolled!
So, there I was, standing at the gate of the University of Makati, filled with inexpressible hopes and dreams. Because of the full scholarship that I received, I know that I’m going to fulfill my goals in life.
I took up Bachelor of Science in Nursing at college. It was actually a fad during my time. Filipinos were raving about becoming a nurse and working abroad – something that most of my countrymen see as a sure way to have a good life.
So, I simply followed what’s popular at that time. After all, I also want to be a doctor someday and this could be my stepping stone.
The first semester of my college years went by too quickly without too much problem. However, after a few months, the problem started to pop up.
As a Sabbath keeper, I made it a point to worship on this holy day. I recognize that the Sabbath, the time from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, is a time for God and family. We don’t get to decide how we are going to spend it.
One of my subjects in college is scouting where we were required to attend a three-day camping program and yes, it fell on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
This made me sad. You can just imagine how I felt that day. I was expecting that I will be able to finish my college years but not attending our weekend camp out would mean I would get an incomplete grade and therefore, I will lose my scholarship.
So, there I was, I talked to our professor. I explained to him that I keep the Sabbath and I can’t join our camping. He just laughed. He thought I was just joking. He told me that it is part of the curriculum and there’s nothing he can do about it. It is either I attend and pass his class or I ignore it and fail.
I was given a choice that day – whether to obey my professor or God, to please man or our heavenly Father. There were voices at the back of my head telling me to simply compromise my belief, to just attend this once. I was rationalizing things and telling myself that God will understand.
However, something also told me that this is a golden opportunity to let my light shine and let other people know that I serve the living God who will help me get through this problem. Yes, He will understand my predicament, but that doesn’t mean I pass his test.
So, I told my professor, “I will not attend the camping program. If I will fail, so be it.”
Friday came, Saturday, and Sunday. The thought of failing just can’t leave my head. I was sad at the time with the prospect that it might be my last year in college. I was seeing all my dreams fading right before my eyes.
When Monday came, I approached our professor. He told me, “Mr. Infantado, I thought you were not serious. You really didn’t join our camping activity.”
“Yes, sir,” I replied with a shaky voice.
“Well, you know what this means, right?” my professor quipped as he folded his arms above his big belly.
I said, “Yes, but is there really no other way for me to pass your subject?” I was starting to lose hope, but what he said next gave me a reason to believe that I still have a chance.
He told me, “You can go ahead and speak to our department coordinator.”
So, I did. I stood behind our coordinator’s door, took a deep breath, and knocked. I approached our coordinator’s table silently and was startled with her strong voice.
“So, you are Joshua, the one I’m hearing from your professor. He said that you didn’t attend our camping activity because of your Sabbath.”
Before I can say yes, she blurted, “Well, I’m a Sabbath keeper too!”
At that moment, I can’t believe what I just heard that I want to ask her to repeat what she just said!
I mean, WOW! Talk about how God can miraculously arrange everything at the right time and at the right moment!
I never knew that our coordinator was a Sabbath too. It was the first time that I met her. Who else would have planned this miraculous turn of events but God!
She told me, “I kind of admire you because you didn’t attend our camping activity just because of the Sabbath. I’m older than you and yet, I was there because I need to.”
I tried to bite my dry lips and swallowed my saliva to start talking.
I said, “Yes, ma’am. I’m here to ask for your kind consideration to please allow me to pass my subject because if not, I’ll lose my scholarship.”
I was totally relieved by what she said to me.
“No worries. Go back to your professor and tell him you have my permission to simply get a special project from him.”
I felt totally blown away by what she said. Just moments ago, I was devastated and now, I’m overjoyed!
I quickly went back to our professor and told him what our coordinator said. He was surprised! He told me:
“Joshua, there are only two students who were given a special project; one is you and the other student who is pregnant.”
At that moment, everything fell at its place. I went outside our admin building with so much happiness and joy that I couldn’t explain. It felt like the birds were singing, the wind was embracing me, the flowers were dancing, and the sun was smiling!
I just saw how God worked in my life at that time. Indeed, we walk by faith and not by sight. If we only do our part, God will do His. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will be with us in and through our trials.
Now, that’s not the only time when my faith was tested. That was only the first and definitely not the last. There were other instances when I almost compromised the Sabbath, but the miracles I experienced before have given me the blessed confidence that God will help me.
There were times when I go to the Feast of Tabernacles and have to be away for eight days from school. This happened every year. Admittedly, I do worry about my grades. But when I come back, I even have higher grades than my classmates.
Because of my occasional request of change of schedule, the admin staff already knew me. They have become familiar with me that we become friends as well.
God does give favor to His children. When we do His commandments, He will also help us in our trials.
I finished college with honors. Now, did I achieve those because I’m good? I’m intelligent? Or I’m gifted?
OF COURSE NOT! Far from it. It is not that I’m good, but God is good. He is the one who made things right for me. He is bigger than anything in this world!
This reminds me of a beautiful passage in Psalm 37:3-7:
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.
That experience has exponentially strengthened my faith in God. Sometimes, we just don’t know how things will unfold. However, God invites us to take Him to His word. After all, He had already made a promise. It is up to us to trust Him and surrender our lives in His hands.
Today, I can always look back and tell everyone how God dramatically changed my life. When you allow God to guide you, He will show you the path of life. He will make sure that you will have everything you need to help you fulfill His purpose for you.
So, whatever it is that you are facing right now. Whether you have a financial problem, health problem, or relational problem, be still. Let God handle all your worries.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
God wants us to cast all our cares upon Him. Why? Because He cares for you.
This is more than a promise, my friend, but it is a command.
Surrender everything to God and be pleasantly surprised and amazed how He will turn things around. He will always make a way for you. As what Moses, thousands of years ago said, “Stand still and see the salvation of God.”
I hope my story has inspired you. Stop worrying and start trusting God. You will never know how He will work in your life until you let Him.