(Click on photo to go to the source)
I was excitedly planning for our family vacation in Australia around the third quarter of 2003. I was thinking that it would be a great time for me and my husband to reunite, rekindle our love for each other, and spend time together as a family away from work. I wanted that we would be celebrating Christmas there, with only the three of us then.
But around August of that year, I started feeling the symptoms of an illness that the specialists couldn’t quite identify. Towards the end of August, I had a scheduled business trip to Japan, and although my doctor advised me not to travel, I still went. That was the last trip I made (I was thankful I even survived it). And the Australia vacation remained a dream.
I have loved traveling abroad. (Well, who hasn’t? None that I know of). And I wouldn’t be honest if I say that I don’t feel the yearning to travel again. I would love to, again, if the Lord allows and enables me to. But I’m thinking of doing it, mainly to testify about His wonderful and mighty deeds in my life, and not just for plain leisure. And I believe that this desire is pleasing to Him.
So I continue to hope, pray and wait for the Lord’s will for me. For physical frailty constrains me to travel far, and I have no choice but to STAY and be still, and wait for the Lord’s prompting.
I know that there are a lot of people who dream of traveling to places, of seeing the world, but their dreams remain to be just dreams due to varying reasons, like finances, obligations, commitments, and health.
But the urge to travel remains in one spot in the heart and we feel the subtle tuggings every now and then. But this being-made-to-stay status should not be a reason for discontent, restlessness, or even resentment. For once a person becomes a true child of God, the Lord begins to reign in his/her life, hence, every hardship or suffering now has a reason and a purpose.
To a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, surrendering one’s will to the will of God is just the beginning. For didn’t the Lord require even losing one’s life for His sake and the gospel’s? Following the Lord Jesus Christ requires our very lives, the lives we have planned for ourselves. And there go the dreams, wishes, plans… For, sure, we would dream and make plans, but it will be the Lord’s will that will be done in our lives.
This was how He guided Israel in the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. And this is how He guides us now.
Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained on the tabernacle, the children of Israel would remain encamped and NOT JOURNEY, but when it was taken up, they would journey. At the command of the Lord they remained encamped, and at the command of the Lord they journeyed. (Num. 9: 22-23, emphasis added)
No sacrifice is purely sweet. Even to those who willingly obey and follow the Lord, sacrifice could be bittersweet. No sacrifice isn’t painful. And that is why, sacrifices are pleasing and precious to the Lord. No sacrifice costs nothing. Yet we do it, because for a true follower, genuine love for the Lord has transcended any personal will and desire.
King David wouldn’t offer anything that cost him nothing.
Bro. Alex Ruebe, an ordained preacher of the Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry, dreamed of traveling the world, that’s why he studied to become a pilot. But when he finished his studies, he became sick of diabetes. His arms, feet and ears were infected and wouldn’t heal, that’s why his doctor’s advice was to amputate those parts of his body. But before that could happen, he found the Lord Jesus Christ. He surrendered his life to Him, and he was completely healed.
Bro. Alex loved the Lord fervently and embraced his calling willingly. He gave up his pursuit of a career in the skies, and STAYED with the Lord and did His will. He became an ordained preacher of the Church, and the powerful presence of the Lord in his life brings his spirit to heights far beyond the clouds.
While we stay and wait and continue to joyfully serve, the Lord will make our days and years meaningful and grace-filled. And in the end, what we did for Him by the mighty workings of the Holy Spirit in us is what would truly matter to Him – whether we went to places or stayed.