What we desire is control… control over our life, our situation, our future & even over people. One lesson we learned time and time again in Taiwan is that we have no control. We only think we do. But the beauty of this or shall I call it divine wisdom in this is that our helplessness propels us to the One who alone is sovereign over all things under heaven, including our lives. It is only when we place our trust in the Lord that we experience & enjoy God’s peace that surpasses all understanding. The truth is God uses all things to bring us to an end where our faith is deepened & His Name is glorified. This is the lesson we have learned, and continue to learn as we follow God’s calling to the mission field.
We scheduled moving day 2 days before departure day thinking that we might get a day of rest before we bid farewell to Taiwan. It ended up that we needed the 2 days to move because it was raining really hard. We were exhausted and just looking forward to getting on our plane and going forward. Got to the airport early the next morning to find out our transfer flight from Japan to Chicago had been cancelled. They suggested we take our flight to Japan and check with the airline there. Got to Japan and we were told that we would have to wait until the next day. Our initial reaction was when it rains, it pours… but by grace of God Japan Airline put us up in a hotel with vouchers for both dinner & breakfast next day. Unexpectedly we got our rest in Japan in a fancy hotel & got to enjoy delicious meals. How kind & wise our Lord is!
The experience reminded me of something a long time ago when I was in seminary & serving as a youth pastor. One high school kid who grew up in a tough environment and quite rough around the edges truly understood the grace & sovereignty of God. This is how he explained it. He said, “It’s like kicking back & letting Him take the steering wheel.” That’s wisdom we can hold on to.
We began searching for a rental home well in advance before leaving Taiwan, but it was difficult. There’s the time difference, good homes were taken up right away, we were using e-mail to inquire but most people like to deal by phone. We asked some family and friends to help but still a few weeks went by with nothing secured. Suddenly I thought of another friend (a couple) to ask if they knew of any homes for rent. Just a couple days before I asked, a neighbor had asked them if they knew anyone who would want to rent his townhouse. We really felt it was God leading us to this home and decided to go forward. With all the background/credit checks and scans and e-mails back and forth, it probably should have taken at least a week, but it only took a weekend for us to finalize everything with the landlord.
So now we have this home, we need to fill it with furniture and household items. Would we rent? Would we shop around garage sales and Goodwill? Another thing to have to figure out once we get to the US. We prayed for peace and trusted in God’s provision. Later that day, Jeanette’s sister contacted us asking if we need furniture. She has a friend who is downsizing and still has some furniture to give away. We were able to get a huge dining table and chairs and some furniture for the girls. The reason for sharing this is to make a point that I couldn’t have arranged any of this on my own, in such perfect timing at that. We are provided for, cared for & surprised by God’s grace. It’s not always easy but we need to give God the steering wheel of our lives. We need to lay everything in His hands with trust in who He is & what He can do.