My wife, Sue, has tried to visit her mum in Camden, Sydney, on four occasions these past two years, and each time her flight has been cancelled – and usually due to parts of Sydney being declared hotspots. In this period of time her mum’s husband of forty years has died and we did part of his funeral service in a caravan park in Mackay as we were on holidays and could not get to Sydney as it was declared a hotspot.
And since then, her mum has also sold her home of forty years and moved into a nearby Retirement Village, and the whole time all Sue could do is ring her. Needless to say it has been a very testing time.
Well, I think Sue is now in Camden (at the time of writing this, I had just dropped her to the airport here in Cairns). Finally! And I guess we all have similar stories. Yes, it has been a very testing time, and especially so for distant family relationships.
It has made me – I suppose it should make all of us – realise that there is so much in life that is out of our control.
In James 4:13-15 we are rightly told:
Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’
It is no wonder that we must never boast about what we are going to do, as we never really know if we will be able. It is also no wonder that followers of Jesus should always be thinking (perhaps saying) ‘God willing, we are planning to ….’
Actually, all of the above has also made me realise that there must be much more going on than we can ever imagine, and that is exactly how our Lord is described (Cf. Ephesians 3:20).