Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Travelers

(detailed conclusion for this post

We flew from Shanghai to Beijing. The first two weeks of teaching were over, and we were headed to teach in another city for two more weeks. It was sad to leave Pinghu, because of the friendships started. I felt like I was just beginning to know my students.

We arrived in Beijing, and waited for my dad’s flight to arrive. It was supposed to be a couple hours, but his flight was late, so we waited a couple extra hours. When he finally arrived, we headed out with our host and drivers to head to the next city. It was supposed to take a couple hours or so, but as we saw the pouring rain and standing water, we began to question whether we could get there that soon. Little did we know that we were in the middle of the worst flood in Beijing in over 60 years. We spent several hours in stand-still traffic, because the road was too flooded to get by.

But it wasn’t just that. We also got lost. Not only was it getting late at night, but we were lost in the middle of a big storm. Eventually I began to realize that we weren’t going to make it there in 4 hours. It was going to be an all-night adventure. I journaled “The less sleep, the more grace, right?” I did not know the extent of how that would be true for me in the next two weeks, and how dependent I would have to be on God’s grace.

At about 6 in the morning, a hymn came to mind, and I began to sing:
When through the deep waters I call thee to go
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress

When thro’ fiery trials thy pathway shall lie
My grace, all sufficient shall be thy supply
The flame shall not hurt thee I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine

I knew while I was singing that I was probably mixing verses, but it didn’t matter. Here we were, going through “deep waters” (flooding!), but it was comforting to know that God was there and He had a plan in mind, even in the difficult situations.

A little while later, as I was reading my Bible, I came across this passage: “As servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left.” 2 Corinthians 6:4-7

We arrived in our second city exhausted. It was 9:30 in the morning, but we hadn’t slept much in the car all night. But God was faithful, and we made it there!


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