Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time ~Oswald Chambers

Friday, December 16, 2011

Really, Lord?

I remember it like it was yesterday.

It was nearly a year ago when we stood in the Beijing airport, newly adopted non-English speaking child in tow, and learned that after two very long weeks in China, our flight back to the States had been...

Like, for four days, cancelled.

In the minutes that followed, we also learned that the only remaining flight headed back to the US that day was leaving shortly.

Like, in forty minutes, shortly.

And my little band of troopers?
The ones who for the past 14 days had willingly given up the usual comforts of home (you know beds, food, sit-down potties) to unselfishly welcome their new little sister into the family?
Well, they were beginning to crack.
Four more days was not the answer.
Home was the answer.

But as much as we all wanted to get home...
As thankful as we were to have this new flight plan...
I struggled.

I simply had a hard time swallowing the fact that our original plan had unnecessarily evaporated right before our eyes.
And now, by purchasing these new tickets on the spot (for the sake of the sanity of all involved) it was very possible that we would never again see the chunk o' change we were about to part with.

And so amidst the chaos of changing airlines, checking bags, and counting (then re-counting) kids to make sure all were present as we sprinted through one of the world's largest airports, a conversation was taking place in the recesses of my mind:

Really, Lord?  
A cancelled flight? 
And not another booking for four days?
I fully understand, it's Your money and all.
And You can certainly do with it whatever You see fit.
But really?
I'm no investor, Lord, but I'm thinking there is a thing or two that could be done with these funds, something, say, better suited for the advancement of Your kingdom, than unnecessarily throwing it all away on plane tickets.  
Just saying, Lord.

And so it continued.
All through check-in.
Throughout the unbearably long flight home.
And over the months that followed.  

Really, Lord?  


And that was the end of that.
Until this summer...

Not long after returning home, we submitted our sob story and our receipts to the airline that had cancelled our flight just to see "what could be done." 
And this summer, what was "done" was a crediting to our account in the form of...
airline miles.
Lots and lots of airline miles.

Really, Lord?  


So we began to discuss what we might do with these unexpected airline miles that had been "put back in our sacks" (so to speak),
and with a daughter who is quickly becoming conversant in Mandarin,
and with a son who just so happens to be free the first week in March.

And then the plan unfolds:

We apply (and get accepted) to serve for a week in an amazing orphanage on the outskirts of Beijing.

We book our tickets.

And we pray.
That in our (very) short time there, He would use us however He sees fit to be His hands and His feet.
Among the children.
Among the staff.
Among each other. 

And as we wait, I think about how if I were given the opportunity to do anything in the world, anything at all, right now, that this would be it.
And here we are with the opportunity to do just that.

Really, Lord?


Friday, December 2, 2011

Her First Christmas

There's nothing quite like watching Christmas unfold through the eyes of a child experiencing it for the very first time...