When I was in Middle School, I had to write a paper in my English class about someone that I would like to meet. They didn’t have to be alive at that time and most people in my class chose celebrities. I wrote about Jesus. About what it would be like to meet Him.
I never went into depth about what I would say to Him, but thinking about it now, and knowing myself, I would probably ask Him a LOT of questions. I’d sit down with Him, order some coffee for us, and talk. I’d ask Him about the creation of the world; about the creation of people, of their minds. I’d ask Him to tell me what it was like to create miracles. I’d want to know His opinion on certain controversial topics. But most importantly I would ask Him about my life. About why certain things happened to me. About my grandparents and friends that have passed away. About the mistakes I’ve made in my life and how my choices have affected who I am today.
I don’t know what Jesus would answer. But what I do know is that the disciples once asked similar questions. He answered, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
Let me take a step back and remind you all, of the time I was arrested in Russia for mission work. I didn’t know what God was doing back then. In fact, I was mad that He would give me desires and passions (to serve people in Russia) and then take them from me. Because of my arrest, if I return to Russia for mission work, I may be deported and not allowed into the country for a long time.
Why, God? Why do you have to give me passions and ways to serve and then close the door?
This summer I returned to Europe again. Spending five weeks with my friends in Germany and living in a different country is always a learning opportunity. I struggled to write a blog post about it because there were things that I learned and did that may have not been of interest to some of you. But the biggest thing I learned this summer was how much I need God. How I don’t have enough of Him. I don’t have enough coffee dates with Him. I don’t ask Him enough questions.
His sacrifice for my life should be enough for me to want to know Him. His love should be enough for me to want to read His word and learn who He is, constantly. His grace should make me want to make Him known. But it’s been hard.
As I was traveling home from Germany, I got stuck in Amsterdam, around the same time the Delta computers crashed and no one was flying. I was at the airport for two days, all by myself (I slept in a hotel though). On my second day at the airport, I got very anxious. I was nervous, tired, and just wanted to get home.
Why, God? Why can’t I just get a seat on this plane and go home?
I once read something that goes like this: “When God closes a door, praise Him in the hallway.”
Earlier this summer I was placed into a practicum (internship) that I was not too excited to be in. As a Social Work student in a University, you have to pick an organization that you will “work” in for your senior year. I was having problems for a while being placed anywhere. I rejected my first offer and left to Europe unsure about where I would be working and what I would be doing.
I had the same problem with church. I was very unsure about what my ministry would be, since I haven’t had a solid service in the church for a while.
It’s like, you pray and you pray and you pray…and still no answer.
Most of you will probably know what I am talking about when I say that I prayed this prayer: “Lord, just give me a sign”
People pray this when they are choosing a school, a job, a boyfriend, girlfriend, you can name anything. A few weeks ago as I was driving home from my grandpas house, something caught my eye. A billboard. A huge black billboard that said the words:
Gods not done.
An actual, literal sign. You better believe it. If you live close to me, you’ve probably seen it. And I think it has been up there for a while. I’ve never seen it. But at that moment, this was exactly what I needed. I needed to know that God isn’t done yet. The moments where I’m waiting for an answer, God isn’t taking a break and playing golf. He is at work in my life.
So back to my Russia story. God closed that door. I waited. For three years. I tried to go back to Russia, but He never opened that door again. So I praised Him.
God made me wait two days in the airport, all by myself, with only a few Euros left. So I praised Him.
He had me make choices this summer that ended relationships and humbled me. So I praised Him.
And you know what? He wasn’t done.
Because the door to Russia closed, I was able to go to Mexico with my dad and a lovely group of people. I was able to open my heart to a nation that not only needs our love, but the love of Jesus, as well. I was able to give 100 percent to a ministry because I knew why God had closed Russia. Because Mexico was where he wanted me to be.
Because God made me wait two days at a European airport, I met a girl, who will most likely become a lifelong friend of mine. She lives in Thailand, the country I have been dreaming of going to for a long time and she’s from Washington, the state that I am from. And by God’s grace, we met at an airport in Amsterdam.
Because God helped me make difficult choices this summer, I found a ministry that I am able to serve in. A ministry that is teaching me to be the person that I needed when I was younger.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good” Romans 8:28
Remember, God’s not done.
So have some coffee with Him. Read His word. Open up completely in conversation with Him. Ask Him questions, but don’t question His motives.
Because falling in love with God is such a beautiful thing.