by Oliver Carlos
Today is my birthday. This is the 333rd day of the year. Count 333 days from January 1, you’ll end up with November 29.
I don’t know if this is just a coincidence, but the number 333 seems to really come my way. My car’s plate number is 333. My favorite shot in basketball is the 3-point shot, and I averaged 3 triples a game (3–3–3) in my best season in our alumni league. My office’s local telephone number ends also in 333. I finished college in 3 years, instead of 4. We are 3 in the family- me, my wife, and our only son. My wife’s birthday is September 3, while my son’s birthday is October 30.
But not everything is rosy about 333. In fact, the saddest day of my life was on my 33rd birthday. I lost my job on that day, on November 29th, the 333rd day of the year. That was in 2005. I felt like I lost everything. I hit rock bottom. I didn’t know where to go. I had bills to pay, a family to feed, and a self-worth to resurrect.
Weeks later, I sank into a deeper hole. I broke my shooting hand while playing in a basketball game with churchmates. Worse is, I didn’t even have enough money for my surgery.
Having a broken bone for several weeks was really painful, as the swelling isn’t just skin-deep or muscle-deep. I could feel the sharp pain deep in the core. But what was more painful than a broken bone is a broken heart and a broken spirit. My pride was in shambles. I was unemployed with an uncertain tomorrow.
In my ashes, I remembered a Bible verse that became my beacon in those dark days — Jeremiah 33:3.
“Call to Me, and I will answer you. And I will show you great and wonderful things which you do not know. (NLV)”
I ran to God in heart-felt prayer, surrendered my situation to him, and gave him the right to author the next chapters of my life.
Then things have never been the same since that day. He got me up on my feet, and restored to me, in a different way, everything that I have lost before, and blessed me with so much more.
He got me back in the labor force, and I literally started from scratch. God guided me to rise from the lowest notch in my field, to a higher ground. As time passed by, and God has lifted me higher and higher each year, up to a position and a place in my career that I have never ever dreamed of. My knowledge of God, and my personal relationship with him got deeper, stronger, and sweeter.
Let us remember that there is a God who watches over us, is concerned about us, and is ready to respond to our needs and woes. We just have to “call out” to him, and he will reach out to us. He will lead us to green pastures (prosperity) and still waters (peace of mind). He will get us across the valley of the shadow of death (protection), and we will dwell in His house forever.