“This is torture!” was my immediate thought each time a gust of wind blew against me, chilling me to the bone. Despite wearing a scarf and winter gloves, the tip of my nose would turn a brilliant pinkish red, and my fingertips would gradually grow numb. The only “warm” parts of my body were my feet, snuggled cozily in thick snow boots. Overall, the biting cold was just too much for me. Coming from a country with a tropical climate, I was not accustomed to the chilly weather in Michigan. During my first few weeks of college, I dressed in multiple layers of clothing on top of thermal undergarments and a winter coat. I was determined to stay as warm as possible, even if it meant taking on the appearance of a puffball mushroom. As the weeks passed and the weather grew blisteringly cold, I was increasingly anxious to acquire a long winter coat because the ones that I owned were only up to my waist. Unbeknownst to me, God had just the perfect coat in store for me.

Throughout the past few weeks, I spent most of my leisure time scouring the internet for long jackets. On several of those occasions, I was tempted to make impulsive purchases because I was desperate to protect myself from the bitter cold. However, just as I was ready to click the “confirm purchase” button, I felt compelled to exit the shopping cart and review the product for the following day. During my devotion the next morning, God spoke to my anxiety and worry. The devotional for that day talked about counting my blessings rather than my burdens, and the scripture verse was taken from James 1:2–4. Feeling encouraged and assured, I decided not to make any purchases and to fully trust that God would provide in His time. On Friday, November 17, I received an email from Hope’s Center for Global Engagement with the subject line, “Are you in need of a warm coat for the winter?” The college was blessing students who were in need of a good winter coat to counter the freezing weather. Overjoyed at the news, I quickly responded to the email and was promptly granted a date and time for the coat pick-up. A delightful surprise awaited me!

Fast forward: the day to receive my coat arrived! I excitedly rushed over to the Bultman Student Center to meet up with Andrew Haggerty, the assistant director of Student Life, who then directed me to the inventory to pick out a coat of my choice. On the way, he casually mentioned that aside from the coats, there were also pairs of winter gloves that I could choose from and claim for my own. Upon hearing that, I almost burst with joy.

After Andrew left to meet with other students who had also signed up, I found myself gazing blankly at the racks and boxes of clothing, completely overwhelmed with awe and wonder at God’s provision.

There were an assortment of coats, ranging from waist-high to below-knee, that were of fine quality. Additionally, the gloves were cold-resistant, which was what I needed since mine were not suitable for winter. In His perfect timing and way, God heard more than what I prayed for, answered more than what I asked for, and delivered more than I could have anticipated. Through the seed of faith (believing that God will provide) combined with trials of hope (staying hopeful amid the cold), my provision from Him blossomed in ways that were unexpected.

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