Vanessa Burke

*”Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” – Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

I recently found myself in need of purchasing another vehicle. After discovering what I thought was the one I wanted, I placed a $500 deposit on it one Friday night about 8 p.m. to hold the car until the next day when we could work out the financial deal. However, due to information I found out about the car, I changed my mind the very next day and consequently needed my deposit refunded.

I proceeded to purchase another car that same Saturday and went back to the initial dealer on Sunday to get the $500 refund. On the following Tuesday, I discovered that instead of crediting my card $500, the dealership mistakenly charged it again for $500! Over the next several days, they managed to charge a total of $2,000 to my account but only refund $1,000. Now this was a problem.

Back to the dealer I went to get the missing $1,000. The very next day was Friday, November 11, Veteren’s Day-a bank holiday! So no credit for my account. By this time the cash in my wallet was getting low. I politely stated to the dealership that at the very least they needed to fill my car up with gas. When I went to get the gas, the salesman insisted I speak to a manager. I didn’t think there was anything he could do because I knew the credit to my account was held up due to the holiday. Nonetheless, I sat and waited to see him.

The top guy was not available, but the original manager who made all the charge mistakes was. I asked him to please call their merchant credit card services company and see if there was any way the processing could be expedited so that my funds would show in my account that day. He tried to no avail.

As I got up to leave, he said, “I think God is testing me.” With raised eyebrows, I responded, “That He will do.” He then told me that he never made that mistake before and confided that this was the worst two weeks of his life. He proceeded to pour out his heart about some serious personal problems. He was near tears, distraught.

I said, “Do you mind if I close the door and pray for you?” With tears flowing, he gratefully agreed. We prayed for restoration, strength and wisdom for his situation. We both realized that God had set the entire thing up so we could sit together in this moment and go before His throne in prayer. He could not believe I had remained as calm as I did throughout the entire ordeal. I told him, like the song by Mary Mary says, “It’s the God in me.”

God chose to give grace to a hurting young man and used me-the very person that same man had seriously inconvenienced-to bless him and pray for him. I believe with all my heart that I left him with renewed hope. It was indeed a test for me too. Had I not passed, or had any of the details gone differently, that moment of prayer might not have occurred; the hurting manager certainly wouldn’t have been so vulnerable with me had I not kept my cool. As it was happening, it seemed a nightmare; in reality, it was a beautiful weave of God’s grace.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters (Colossians 3:23). You could very well be in the midst of a blessing-of grace-in disguise.

Vanessa Burke hopes to uplift and inspire others through her gifts of writing, teaching and singing. She has many published articles in local, national and international publications. Vanessa also enjoys teaching a weekly bible study. Visit her at http://vanessaburke.blogspot.com.