When I saw face Gizem’s Facebook message, anxiety welled up inside me: “Can we come over to see you before your trip?” I surveyed the littered suitcases, and summer clothes piled up on the floor in my bedroom and thought about our weekend schedule:
Friday night: Visit with friends
Saturday: Breakfast out with friends
Sister for dinner
Sunday: House Church meeting.
The only free time I had was Sunday afternoon.
Should I invite Gizem to come with her husband? When was I going to start packing for our trip? We were leaving early Wednesday morning, and I hadn’t even started packing home school supplies, gifts for people back home, and winter and summer clothes for four people.
A voice inside me protested, “NO! Sunday afternoon is the only time I have left to start packing! No way can I have company.” Then another voice sounded in my head: “Isn’t this the couple you’ve been praying for the last year? How can you tell them you don’t have time to see them?”
I stopped and prayed, “God, what should I do?”
God said, “Invite them over on Sunday afternoon and trust me with your packing.” (At least that’s what I think I heard!) So I took a deep breath and wrote a reply on Facebook to invite them.
As I set out plates and tea glasses on Sunday afternoon before their visit, other friends called, “Can we drop by to see you this afternoon?” Two more glasses and plates. Thankfully I had leftover cake and cheese pastry from our House Church meeting. God came through with grace and I was relaxed enough to enjoy the visit.
My Wonderful Problem:
Today as I carry on with packing for our Wednesday departure, I’m smiling at my wonderful problem: too many friends that love us and want to see us before we leave for two and a half months. In ten years of coming and going, we’ve never had so many people call or come visit before a trip. Community is sometimes messy and uncontrollable. You can’t always plan for it or put it into a box to save for later, but it’s a wonderful gift.
As I pack suitcases one more time, I’m adding to my 1000 Gifts List:
#1,393 A beautiful bracelet with a ceramic medallion set in silver, a gift from a generous new friend.
#1,394 God’s care over my children during 10 years here.
#1, 395 My sweet sister.
#1,396 The joy of sharing the Lord’s supper with our house church.
#1,398 God’s grace day by day.
#1,399 This word from 1 Chronicles: 23:30: “(The Levites) were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening.”
Even in my hectic moments of preparing for a trip, I want to stand to thank and praise the Lord.
What can you thank Him for today?