I'm past the halfway mark, about 6 weeks in to my 10 weeks of traveling. It's interesting the questions and reactions I've gotten. Other than surprise, a common response is that I'm brave...which surprises me. Maybe it's because I know me. I do love the excitement and adventure of exploring new places and learning about the people and cultures, some for the first time. But to be honest, sometimes...often even... it's hard. Not every day is a good day, and while I always try to find the best in a situation, some situations try me more than others. And if I'm not careful, I can slip into a mindset where my weakness seems to rule.
In God's Word, a man named Paul actually boast of his weaknesses and hardships because God promised him personally--and all who trust Him--that His grace is sufficient in our weakness.
In case you don't know this about me, I believe that God's Word is powerful and can change us as well as our circumstances. I say I believe, but...
Last Monday, after three flights from Norway and two hours to get out of security/baggage at Heathrow, I was exhausted and plain miserable. I had already struggled up stairs with all of my bags, no one helping, only to find there were no seats available on the tube. It's a good thing I didn't know the journey would take almost two more hours to get to my accommodations! What I did know is that I had every intention of sitting down as soon as the person on the end got up. But would you believe that when it became available, a man already seated got up and quickly took the spot? At this point, my misery mounted along with very mean thoughts about this man. Could he not see that I needed that spot?
It was a few minutes later when I did get to sit that I actually brought my offense and frustration to the Lord. And an amazing thing happened: I was free of the bitterness that attempted to take root; and from that point on, someone offered to help me at every stairwell and on/off every train!! I was so humbled and also reminded of the opportunity and value of inviting the Lord into our weakness and taking Him at His Word: His strength is perfected in our weaknesses!
This is one of many examples of where I've seen Him provide as I've offered my petty hardships. I'm thankful for a God who cares for us rather than despising our weakness. And who frees us to love others when we are too weak to.
With that, I've got a LOT of airport/air time over the next couple of days...waiting to board my overnight to Australia! Here's to trading weakness for strength!