Not that it takes very much for this to happen in the first place – but for the last 36 hours, I find myself randomly bursting into tears. I know what you’re thinking. And I mean much more than ususal. I really can’t begin to express how overwhelmingly happy I am to be on my way back to Romania – soon to be reunited with the friends and family I’ve spent the last six months longing to see again. To think how long it’s going to be before I get to see the Roma in Batar makes me sick to my stomach and leaves me feeling quite anxious. But in spite of all the painful trials the Lord has brought me through to prepare me for this – I have been overflowing with thankfulness for my awesome God who loves me so dearly and for some reason I can never understand has lavished His love upon me. I am constantly amazed that He cares so much for me to hear and answer my prayers.
I am certain that this is going to sound much less eloquent than I’d like – but as I was looking out the airplane window today at the beautiful sun shining down on the green and brown pathchwork planet below that our all-powerful Creator has made, I was considering the clouds from above. (My favorite thing about flying.) I never noticed it before, but each cloud that sailed by cast a distinct shadow on the ground below. Silly, right? Of course clouds cast shadows. But after listening to small group last night, and listening to someone share Corrie Ten Boom’s illustration about our lives being like a tapestry, and after the emotional rollercoaster I’ve been on for the last year, particularly the last few months, I was reflecting on it all. I thought of the Lord and how awesome and big he is – how magnificent his sovereignty, how perfect his plan. And how fickle I am – how short-sighted, how small, and consequently, how narrow-minded and incapable of understanding how good and perfect he really is. All that in mind, I think one could easiliy make an analogy about how dark and dismal everything seems when a cloud is overhead. Even the brightest colors have a dismal grey tint. But looking at it from above – you can not only see how fleeting and momentary the shadow of the passing clouds really are – but how tiny they are in comparison to all the great beauty surrounding them! In the midst of a cloudy day, I don’t doubt that the sun is still there and shining on as it always does. Then why is it that I so quickly forget that God is in perfect control and unchanging as always in the surrounding darkness as He is in the light? I pray someday that the Lord will bring me to a point in my sanctification where I never doubt Him. I wonder if that ever happens to anyone this side of glory?
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12
I so aspire to be the kind of coronary Christian James is describing here. I try – but it always seems to be one step forward and two steps back – or maybe it is the other way around? I don’t know, but I’m sure God knows.
Today, for example, I got what I wanted, right? I spent months praying that God would do what He is now doing and has already done regarding my time on the mission field this summer. And each time some little complication He’s entirely capable of handling comes up – and believe me, there were plenty – I had to talk myself into trusting Him to take care of it. “It’s going to be okay, it’s going to be okay, God’s in control of this too, He’s going to take care of it, I just have to trust Him.” Why can’t I just skip that initial wave of panic and fear and just believe that He loves me and takes care of me and remember how He has always been faithful to me in the past? He is so good. So much better than I deserve.
Even though the morning was extremely complicated, God worked it out. Even though I spent more time rebuking myself for my attitude (pommeling my body and making it my slave) than I spent in prayer this morning – He still loves me. Even though I got to the US Airways desk in Pittsburgh and the lady told me I had all my tickets except the one from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, God made a way (miraculously) for me to get ahold of Bob Ward and have it taken care of. Even though I was so afraid that my luggage was going to be over 50 lbs and I was going to have to pay another $100 on top of the $25 charge I was already planning to pay for bringing a second piece of checked luggage… and even though the first was 52 lbs and the second was 54 – the woman charged me ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. He is so good. Lord, grant me grace that I will ALWAYS trust you, without a moment’s hesitation, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. Oh how I long to be steadfast in Christ.
I am reminded of the Brian Regen stand up thing that Daniel showed us. “Ladies and Gentlement, this is your captain speaking : if you look out the window to your left you’ll notice the frantic airport employees chasing the plane as we roll across the grass island in the center of the airstrip. The control tower says we’re number 14 for take-off, but I say we’re NUMBER ONE!” Something like that. You’d have to see it.
The motion sickness pills are making me loopy. I better quit fighting it and try to get some sleep.