One of my earliest memories is of God saving me. On this day, God found me on a roadside in Hong Kong, praying. I was praying because I was lost. An Australian citizen, I was in a foreign country, surrounded by strangers. Somehow, with the adult forms of hundreds of tourists and Chinese citizens pressing all about me, I lost sight of my parents. I was only three years old.
Fortunately, I received excellent guidance from my five-year-old companion, whose parents had wisely prepared her for such a time as this. She was taught that if she was ever lost, she should find a police stand. When we found that area vacant, we did the second thing her parents had advised: we prayed.
In our prayer, we asked that God would help us to find our parents. In no time, it seemed, our infant prayers were answered. A tall, middle-aged woman approached us, asking if we needed help. Recognising her as God's answer to our dilemma, we told her that we needed to find our parents. We trusted God enough to get into her car.
Strangely, this woman seemed to know that our families were nearby. As she drove, she directed our attention to the cars on the roadside and asked us what colour our car was. When we saw our car, we notified her and she let us out. Miraculously, we crossed the street safely and went into the very shop where our parents were making telephone calls on our behalf.
How does this relate to stewardship? Stewardship is about seizing the opportunities, and even the extremities, that we are given for God. When we prayed, even though we were small children, we made the most of our critical situation. Rather than giving up our hope to find our parents, we used our rudimentary Christian training to the best of our ability. At the moment of our greatest crisis, we respected God enough to trust Him. Trust is the pattern God is teaching me to weave on the loom of life. I have failings and fears aplenty but I refuse to be conquered by them. Many times, I have thrown myself upon the grace of God. When I was 16, four years after I first responded to the Lord's prompting to follow Him, I was baptised. That was just the start of my relationship with God. From the moment I first asked Jesus to change my life until this moment, my entire life has been an answered altar call. I have submitted my desires for a career, marriage partner and children to God for approval, and He has blessed me generously.
Today I am married and working. At the moment, I have neither full-time employment nor children. It may seem to some people as if I have failed but I have not. God, like an unseen wind, is blowing me where He pleases. His path is full of hidden adventure and mystery but now I have set my hand to the plough, I am not looking back. Wisdom cries out; so must I. My cry is for Him to finish the work--the work that He has started in my life, in the life of my fellow church members and also the world. A steward of grace, I long fervently for Christ's return.
Each of us is given different gifts but we are all called to share the good news of the gospel and to make the most of every opportunity.
Now you should carry this project through to completion just as enthusiastically as you began it. Give whatever you can according to what you have. 2 Corinthians 8:11.
Bianca McArthur is a wife, teacher, trainee counsellor, song writer and poet. She writes from Penguin, Tasmania.