On the uncertainty of travelling forward…
We are in Santiago airport in Chile having just had a 3 hour flight from Lima at 1am. The boys didn’t sleep. We didn’t much either. The boys are doing great - no more grotty than normal, no more objectionable than normal - currently playing on the tiny play area near gate 11.
In 4 hours we will set off on a 14 hour flight to Sydney. I am hoping they will sleep a bit, but not too much - we arrive early evening into Sydney and it would be good if they slept tonight.
But at the same time, experience tells me that I just need to throw out any expectations regarding sleep, schedules, whether we will arrive on time or with luggage etc. I am hopeful that we will have an uneventful flight, but I also know that that might not happen.
One thing I am learning is that it is best to have hope in God rather than situations. There is only one verse in the Bible which talks about hope in things - Hebrews 11:1: Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the assurance of things unseen. All the other verses about hope talk about hope in God. Now it is not wrong to have faith in something - but the problem is I think I used to presume that if I had prayed something like a flight where all the children slept the whole way through, I would be disappointed and even angry if that didn’t happen, even if my expectations were totally unrealistic.
When I hope in God rather than how I would like situations to go, I can have peace that no matter what obstacle we face, God has a solution.
I'll be honest: travelling makes me nervous. I wonder what might go wrong - there are too many uncontrollables and changeables. But I am trying instead to face traveling with hope in God. Jesus said that his disciples will have trouble in the world - there are bound to be annoyances, difficulties and trying situations - that’s not self-fulfilling prophecy, but the reality of travelling with small children and a lack of sleep all round! It is also the reality of living out the kingdom - often to face the breakthrough, we have to smash through some obstacles first.
Many hours later we have arrived in Sydney at my parents house. It is now 3:27am and Kaleb (2) and I have been up for an hour. We managed to get some sleep on the 14 hour flight and his body has now had enough sleep for the moment. I don’t think we will be hearing from Joel (5) for a good few hours/(days?!) yet - he only slept 1 hour on the entirety of our journey.
The journey on the whole was long but peaceful. No turbulence at all, only one change for clothes for Kaleb, our baggage all arrived safely. When I look back on past travels - I have been anxious to sleep at the right times in the right time zones to adapt as quickly as possible to arrival. I have been anxious to get to planes and gates early, just in case. This trip wasn’t like that - it was peaceful and we slept when we slept and we arrived at gates and planes at the right moments, and the journey did eventually end despite the endless flight to Sydney. (It is so disheartening to be on a flight for 8 hours and fed up, to look at how much further it is and realize that there are still another 8 hours to go!) I wonder how much of the peace of the journey was not actually due to the circumstances but rather having realistic expectations and trying to combat those fearful thoughts with intentional trusting in God.
My prayer as we travel this year is that I would lean further into my Daddy - that I would have realistic expectations but also supernatural faith in my Provider and my Protector. That my hopes would not be swayed by circumstances because they are anchored in Him.
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