The message took my breath away. “We regret to inform you that we need to cancel your trip to Kabul, Afghanistan for an unspecified period of time. Due to new information from our security sources on the ground, the risk to foreigners working in Kabul is substantial, too great to justify coming at this time.” Disbelief. Disappointment. Distress. Defeat. In short, it felt like a big FAIL.
I worried about telling my husband. I was afraid he would be angry about all the time and money we had already invested in this. I was a little upset myself – everyone knew I was going – what would I tell them? But my husband didn’t get angry. He simply said “Maybe God is saying no to Afghanistan for now, but He may want you somewhere else. Why don’t you ask CURE where they need you?” He was right. I already had a plane ticket and time set aside. Obviously we could not afford another ticket, but perhaps the ticket could be changed? There were other countries, other hospitals and other children in desperate need of medical care.
CURE has hospitals in Honduras, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, Niger, Kabul, UAE and the Dominican Republic. So I asked, “Where is your greatest need right now, where do you need me?” and I prayed for direction. A few days ago I received word that there was a children’s hospital in Uganda that could use me. Was I willing to go? After discussing it with my husband and family, I said yes.
This past year has truly been one of unpredictable change and challenge. I have found that trusting God and his timing brings a deep peace, a knowing that at some point this will all make sense. Regardless of the outcome, I am willing to embrace the unexpected and expect the possibility of miracles.
Even though it isn’t what I planned for or even considered, I am saying “yes.”
As I was reading today about the apostle Peter. I was thinking about how much courage and faith he had to get out of that boat. Peter had to leave what he knew to be safe, get himself up over the side of the boat, let go and step out into the waves before he got his miracle. The other disciples must have thought he was nuts. Did they try to stop him, think he was confused and try to pull him back in? Or were they so afraid they simply held on white knuckled, fearful his movement might cause the boat to capsize and drown them all? Peter was determined. And, he was open to change and miracles. He stepped out in faith and as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, he walked on water. Too often his story puts the emphasis on his failure – he looked down and started to sink. I don’t agree. Peter was brave: He stepped out, he trusted Jesus and he said “yes.”
To fully serve God we must consider His leading in new directions as well as our comfortable, familiar route. Ask for wisdom. The decision to face fear is the beginning of a sacred path.
The oldest, shortest words – “yes” and “no” – are those which require the most thought. –Pythagoras