We spent most of the month of August in Lebanon and much of the month of September in the UK. And from beginning to end, nothing went as originally planned.
Just for starters, we didn’t have the money for either our visas or our tickets. Then, when we did finally purchase our tickets and submit our visa application to the UK Embassy, we discovered that the UK Embassy is the English equivalent of Fort Knox. Once your passport is inside, there’s no way of getting it out until it’s served its time. We watched as our flight day grew closer and closer and the UK Embassy showed no sign of releasing our passports. When we attempted to call them to make enquiries (aka, plead for a special dispensation) we were told that there are no telephones inside the UK Embassy. What? Did they expect us to believe that line? They gave us an email address to write to. This was the reply we received:
We did not ask you to write this email. It will now be destroyed. Kaboom! (Ok, I added that last part in, but I kid you not..that was their reply; I have witnesses.)
By this time we had the longsuffering Lebanese Embassy on stand-by, with all our other paperwork neatly in a row, waiting for our UK visas to be approved and our passports to be released by the Crown.
Two days before we were due to leave, and we still didn’t have our passports in hand, we reluctantly accepted the inevitable. A drastic and chaotic change of plans ensued. The end result was:
Our plans Gods plans
Stay in Joburg for 2 weeks Stay in Joburg for 4 weeks
Fly to UK for 11/2 weeks Fly to Lebanon for 2 weeks
Go to Lebanon for 2 weeks Go to UK for 4 weeks
Return to Joburg for 2 weeks Return to Joburg for 2 weeks
Hmmmmm. Oh yes, and when we arrived in Beirut we discovered that my suitcase was not on the airplane. I’m not going to lie. There was 1 day in the midst of all of this when we lost our peace – but for the most part, the Holy Spirit reminded us that when He had originally called us to the King’s Cross ministry, He had told us that we would ‘live out of a suitcase’. Aha!
How can I live out of a suitcase if I don’t have a suitcase? I rest my case, amen.
My bag arrived the next day. With nothing missing.
Trusting and obeying the Lord, no matter what, is not only more fun – it’s the only way to continue enjoying intimacy with Him. If you don’t believe me, let’s read John 14: 22 together.
“Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us and not to the world?” And Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he’ll keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
There you have it. If anyone loves Jesus, it will show in how that person treats the word of God. If you honour the word of God, if you consider that every word that proceeds from the mouth of God is a precious treasure, if you hang on the lips of the Lord, waiting for him to speak so that you can obey…THEN you will enjoy an intimacy with Jesus and the Father that others simply will not know.
It’s a profoundly conditional word from Jesus. But don’t be afraid..he has told you what will persuade him and his Father to make their home with you. Love him. Trust him. Treasure his words. Obey him with gladness.