“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ~ Martin Luther King
Just like the rest of the world, as I still try to wrap my head around the tragedy that cost lives of 298 souls from different nationalities and backgrounds aboard the Malaysian Airlines flight MH 017 that crashed in Eastern Ukraine, honestly, it is a harsh reminder of how fragile and short life is, regardless of the cause of the tragedy. I pray for God’s comfort for all the victims’ family members, relatives and friends during this tough time! God alone is capable of consoling their broken hearts. Words cannot describe the degree of their loss!
Late last year, as I planned to visit one of the Asian countries, everything was on schedule: the round trip ticket has been purchased in advance and all the details were coming together, except one important detail. Everyone, of course minus its own citizens, needs a visa to visit this country that shall remain nameless. I have never seen unprofessional way of handling matters than the way the Embassy staff of this country processes things.
In fact, it just reminded me how some third world countries, including my own home country, we have a ridiculous way of thinking that when we make people crawl to their knees to beg us, it proves that we have power over them. You may check in at the hospital to find a receptionist talking on the phone, during business hours, about her nails and hair and whatnot, when there is a long line of patients that have been waiting for hours and sick. It’s disheartening!So, long story short, my visa application was neither denied nor approved. After waiting for about 10 weeks with no response from the embassy, except that I simply had to wait, I decided to go there in person. To my surprise, the staff answered me exactly the same: “you have to wait”. Eventually, I decided to withdraw my application. Because my flight was only few days out, I didn’t see a need to leave my passport there anymore. I figured that I may need to change my travel plans. I sadly hard to cancel everything at the last minute.
I definitely had to allow myself enough time to accept that a trip that has been planned for a long time, leave alone the money that was spent, has been brought to a sudden dead end for no clear reason. But as I tried to comprehend it all and asking God why, I pondered on this:
“What if there was a good reason behind this disappointment? What if there was danger or harm on the way, and God who can see everything was shielding me from it?”
I don’t know the answer to that and just like there are so many questions that may never be answered in this life, but the Sovereign God who is above our thoughts and plans, knows what is best for us and loves us so deeply. He would rather let us cry than allowing us to venture into plans that He is not part of. Personally, as much as it hurts to not get things the way I want them, I would rather choose for God to have His way in my life! Because His ways and plans are flawless!
For passengers who missed the Malaysian flight 17 earlier this week, we can only imagine the extent of gratitude that they have now & for the rest of their lives, to whatever cause that hindered their way to catch this flight: rides to the airport, bumped to the next flight, financial difficulties, bad timing, sickness, road constructions, or visa application delays, you name it!
If it was possible for me to peek through the tears of my broken heart and be made aware of why my trip was unsuccessful, and perhaps find out that possibly something like a plane crash was what caused my trip cancellation, I wouldn’t even have hesitated for a second. I would have made every effort perhaps to meet every single staff at this embassy and thank them for whatever reason that caused the delay in processing my visa application. And I am sure you would have felt the same way, no doubt about that!
If you could look at all your life plans today, how are you and I handling those that aren’t just working out the way we had hoped? It’s fair to be frustrated but do you ever wonder if there may be a good a reason behind everything? What if that job/promotion you didn’t get or that man/woman you didn’t end up with was going to be your worst nightmare?
What if that business plan or trip/vacation you tirelessly worked hard for but didn’t work out was going to end tragically? What if some of your dreams will not come true anytime soon for a specific good reason? What if some of your prayers aren’t answered yet for your best?
Take time and pause: be thankful to God for what you have today and for things that didn’t work out for your very own good.
Just like Laura Story sang, praying to God:
“What if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life, are Your mercies in disguise!
What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise!”
What if your misfortune, trials , pain, disappointments only happened to you to bring God’s Glory? Would you still question God to ask him why this, why now, why me? If your prayer is like Jesus in Gethsemane: “Not my will, but yours be done God”, then fasten your seat belt and rest assured in the backseat that you are in good hands as long as God is the driver! You will be safe under His leadership and guidance!
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world”. John 16: 33