Here is a true story that might inspire. About 3 years ago, a dear sister of mine was pregnant at the same time as I was. She visited us once a month for our Girl's Reading Club, and on one occasion told me she was craving beef. I had already prepared chicken for that night's meal and only had one opportunity to serve beef during her pregnancy- just some ground beef in a chili dish. A bit later in her pregnancy she learned that she had an iron deficiency, so the unfulfilled intention to make her beef stayed with me.
Since then, we have seen each other a handful of times, due to our heavy homeschooling and family schedules maashaa Allah. So, this past Friday when she and her family were invited to dinner, I prepared roast beef with gravy. I was ill with a cold and sore throat, preparing the meal with a bad headache, and making dua' throughout that Allah would bless the food. As we sat eating, I reminded her of her cravings for beef 3 years before during her pregnancy and that I was finally fulfilling my intention to serve it to her. She looked at me a little incredulously and laughed. I said, "Better late than never!"
As there was plenty of the beef, al hamdul'Illah, I asked her to take some home. She took it and this morning, Sunday, she told me that she had been talking to a sister who is pregnant and has been suffering from extreme fatigue and low iron. My friend asked the sister if she was craving beef, and the sister shyly informed her that she had....so she sent her the beef. This morning she got a message from the sister saying that she had never had beef so beautifully tender and delicious and asked for the recipe, the cut of beef, and made dua' for her. My dear sister responded:
"Wa alaykum us salaam sweety. I am so happy you liked it. A dear friend of mine made it for me the other night in honor of my intense desire to have beef while pregnant - 2 1/2 years ago! As I ate it, I thought of you. It wasn't decreed for my pregnancy, but yours, alhamdulilah!"
Allahu Akbar! See how far a fulfilled good intention can travel?
I ask Allah to use me to benefit others REPEATEDLY. If it wasn't for the fact that I know He loves me to ask and never tires of it, I would have shut up out of shame and embarrassment from asking all the time. The news about the beef made me cry, maashaa Allah; the barakaat of the beef made my day. It sounds quite hilarious to say that a story about beef can have such an effect, but that is yet another huge Mercy from our Lord. He gives us things to smile and laugh about from the things we do seeking His Face. So, for all of you who have unfulfilled good intentions that you CAN fulfill,
it's never too late to cook the beef!