Answer in a Purse
“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7, 8).
Some years ago, the brethren in Peru invited me to preach at their biennial youth convention held at that time near the Huascarán National Park. Two-thousand people from all over Peru and neighboring countries were in attendance. Each person had to make personal sacrifices and took great pains to attend this youth convention.
Heavy rains had devastated some parts of the country, and many had to travel for several days to arrive. Sometimes the buses would come to a point where the bridge had been shattered by the river’s chaotic waters. The passengers would disembark, then travel by foot across the mountains until they would reach another bus station and board again to resume their trip. I will never forget their courage and admirable efforts.
At the youth convention, a sister came to speak to me and a group of pastors. She told us an amazing story. Her struggle to be able to attend the youth convention had begun months earlier when she realized that she was short of money. She prayed for wisdom. If she would attend the meetings, she would have no money left at all. How would she hold out until the next harvest when her paycheck would come?
On the day of the trip, the Lord impressed her that she should go and trust Him that He would provide for her needs. With barely enough money to cover the expenses of the trip, she boarded the bus.
After traveling for a while, the bus stopped for lunch at a restaurant. It was not easy to find vegetarian food at the restaurant, nor could she afford what they were offering, so she decided to go to a fruit market across the street and see what she could find to eat. As she was leaving the market, an elderly lady approached her and gave her a purse in our sister’s hand and said, “Here, daughter, this is your purse.”
“But this isn’t my purse!” replied the sister. But the elderly lady insisted, “No, keep it. It’s yours! I saw when you dropped it as you arrived at the market.”
The sister was puzzled and looked down at the purse, but when she raised her eyes again, the lady had disappeared. The sister looked around, but could not find the elderly lady, she was gone!
With trembling hands, she didn’t know what to do with the purse. She decided to wait until she was on the bus to open it and find out what was inside the mysterious purse. She couldn’t understand what was happening. Remembering the Peruvian terrorism phase, her mind wandered, what could be inside that purse? Shaking more than ever, she slowly opened the purse . . . and the contents made her shudder!
Inside the purse were $9,000 US dollars. In Peru in those days, that was lots of money! That was enough for her to live peacefully with her family for years to come!
She arrived at the youth convention, and she was asking the brethren what she should do with that money. We asked her if there was an address inside the purse, a name, or any other information, to which she replied, “Besides the money, the only thing I found was a small piece of paper.”
in that piece of paper were written only a few random English words. Knowing that we couldn’t very well tell her to go back to the market and ask who had lost a purse full of U.S. dollars, we advised her to keep the money for a few months. If the owner didn’t show up, she should return the tithe, give the offering that she desired to give, and enjoy the blessings that the Lord had given her. No one ever showed up to claim the money, and we understood that God had blessed His daughter with more than she expected, and what a great blessing that was!
“We should choose the right because it is right, and leave consequences with God.” The Great Controversy, p. 460. When His children seek to do what is right, God will open the way. God will work in your life too. Believe Him!