I remember the time in 2008 I arrived in China very late. It was the last flight from the States, and I had been traveling the past day, including a significant time change! Tired and hot, without a shower, living on airport and airline food, I was thankful to land. It took forever to get my luggage, and it was practically midnight when I stepped outside into the muggy air to wait for my ride.
After a few moments, without my ride in sight, many Chinese people approached me in panic. Now, I don’t speak a word of Chinese, so I was concerned as to what was happening. One gentleman approached me and spoke in broken English, “The airport is closed, what are you doing here? You have to go.” I was surprised and a bit angry. “What do you mean the airport is closed? I’m waiting for my ride,” I answered. “You have to leave, you can’t stay here. Go across the street to the hotel and wait for your ride.” It was all very disturbing and upsetting. Where was my ride? He was supposed to pick me up. I’m in a foreign country all alone and I don’t speak the language. What will happen?
I dragged my luggage and myself across the street. I threw my passport and VISA and a handful of Chinese Yuan at the desk clerk and asked for a room. He tried to ask what I was doing in China and I explained my ride hadn’t come to pick me up. He said calmly, “You go to bed, your ride is sleeping, he come get you in morning.” I could only hope so!
I did have a phone number for my ride, and after a shower, by 1:00 AM I had tried calling several times, but there was no answer and sometimes no connection (cell phone technology was not as advanced back then as it is today, you may remember). I prayed and had a fitful sleep. In the morning, a few hours later, I was able to reach my ride, and he came to get me by lunch. “I’m sorry,” he smiled sheepishly, “With the time change and all, I got your arrival date wrong. Actually, I am on time to pick you up, if you were arriving today.” I was able to laugh about it then, but during the ordeal, it was quite frantic and scary.
Through this all, I am reminded of God’s sovereignty and strength. He was in charge of the whole ordeal. He knew every hair of all the heads of all the people involved, and not even a sparrow could fall to the ground without His knowledge and command. He also gave me peace that passed understanding; I remained pretty calm throughout the situation, but it was enough to get my heart going a few times. What do you fear today? What are you anxious about? Are you facing an “out of control” situation this season? However, how much more does your Father in heaven care about you? Trust in Him and lean not on your own understanding in this time. He will make a way and provide strength in all your troubles.