Saturday, December 4, 2010

Passport Saga #2: It’s Not About Me

In a gentle yet powerful way, God lovingly rebuked me. The lost passport holder was perhaps a way for the Lord to get my attention. He knew too well that only something as serious as losing my passport and visa card three weeks before my family’s trip to India will get my attention these days. Honestly, I regret not paying attention to Him much earlier. I regret that I had to go through a harrowing week culminating in this crisis before I took God’s invitation to be with him seriously.

I knew deep in my heart that He has been calling. He had wanted to meet me, to speak to me. He would wake me up in the wee hours with a thought of reading my Bible. But laziness got the better of me. Sleep was good. Thus, I lost the best to the good.

This morning God got my full attention, all right! But it had come to a point of desperation first. I’m regretfully embarrassed.

“And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask,” God was speaking through the book of Ruth chapter three verse eleven.

“Really? You will do for me all I ask?” I was unsure for I have sinned against my Father.

“And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask,” God assured me.

“Lord,” I wept. “Deliver me!”

My Heavenly Father waited until I could put words into my feelings and utter them in between sobs.

“I’m desperate, Lord! Please bring my passport and visa card back! I don’t want to get new documents. Please do a miracle and give them back to me. And please deliver me from all the stress and anxieties I’ve been having…unpaid bills, the Indian trip…there’s just so much I couldn’t take anymore. Please deliver me! And please, I want my husband!”

“All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character,” a response I didn’t expect as I read Ruth 3:11.

“What Lord?” I don’t exactly feel like I am woman of noble character or anywhere near such a person!”

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord (Proverbs 18:22),” God’s response jumped out from the inspirational desk calendar right in front of me.

“Lord, seriously, this isn’t me at all. I don’t see myself as a good thing nor a favor to my husband at this very moment. I have been failing I almost everything lately—at home, with the kids as a mother, and now the passport and visa which my husband have entrusted to my care while he’s away.* You can’t be serious in calling me a good thing, a favor to my husband.”

“It’s not about you.”

“What Lord?”

“It’s not about you. It is I. It is I who caused you to be a woman of noble character. It is I who gave Mang a wife. It is I who gave him a good gift. It is I who gave him favor. It is not and can never be by your strength that you can become all these. It is still because of Me, by My grace and love that you are the woman that you are and the wife that you are to Mang. It is not about you. It never was and never will be.”

“Forgive me, Lord, for my pride. All this time I did things on my own wisdom and strength. And I’ve reached the end of my supply of strength. My hoard of resources has depleted and I have no more to give. That is why I am in despair. I had been proud in thinking that I am the woman behind my man’s success; that without me life would be difficult for him. I was praising You for my achievements at home, at work, in the ministry, in my marriage. But all that was lip service. You saw right through me that at the core of my being was hubris! I was boasting. It was all about me. I was terribly mistaken. I am so sorry. Forgive me, Lord.”

The phone rang. “Hi, Bun.” Mang’s voice sounded so crisp and clear. I was afraid to tell the truth but I had to. “How are you?”

“I’m not okay. I lost my passport and visa card,” I sobbed before I could finish what I wanted to say.

“It’s okay, Bun. Don’t worry. God knows where it is. We will find it,” Mang did not say anything hurtful. He just encouraged me and promised to call again.

My mobile phone let off an alarm signaling a message: Bun, let’s continue to search but we leave the matter to God. He knows what’s going on and He will work everything out for His own glory. Love you.

As soon as I read Mang’s SMS I realized that God had given one of the things I had just asked of Him: my husband. He may have been physically far but he was closer than I could ever wanted. I replied: Thanks. As I prayed I asked God for deliverance and I asked Him for you. Then you called. God answered. I’m now at peace. He will do as He pleases for His glory.

“Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For [I] will not rest until the matter is settled today (Ruth 3:18),” God had the last word for the day. After all, it is about Him.

* Mang is on a ministry trip as I write this.

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