Well, this is painful to type. Our Peru trip is delayed, and could potentially be changed. Sindy and I were unaware that, as a Salvadorean citizen, she is required to have a visa to enter Peru. On top of that, Delta failed to ensure we had these documents at check in. So, we enjoyed a seven hour plane ride to Lima, then an hour later, put back on the same plane headed back to Atlanta. We'll follow up with Sindy's visa on Monday when the Peru Consulate office opens. Let's review the adjectives that describes our state of mind as Peruvian officials informed us we would not be staying in Peru: sad, frustrated, speechless, clueless, ashamed, disappointed embarrassed, and best of all, humbled.
My friend, Blaine Greeson reminded me that the enemy attacks when there is something good worth attacking. You know the principle that Satan is NOT hanging out in pubs or Buddhist temples; instead, he's in our churches trying to break down anything that advances the kingdom of God. This principle gives us affirmation something good is in the works.
Another principle that applies comes out of the book of John, which we're studying at OHBC. This week in chapter one we'll see where Jesus asks his followers, "why are you following me?" The question here is to ask, when ministry becomes challenging, will we still follow Jesus? Things just got difficult for us, and time will tell our response.
I'm also reminded of the storm in Mark 4: 35-41, in this passage the storm came up quickly. The disciples weren't expecting it, and they didn't have a chance to prepare. That is exactly our prediciment. This visa issue came out of nowhere, and gave no time to prepare. Next, notice that the disciples feared the storm so much that they thought they were about to die! Where was Jesus? Asleep on a pillow. The storm didn't awake Jesus, His saints did! They asked him if he cared about them. lol. Of course He cared about them (1 Peter 5:7). The problem was they had little faith, and Jesus wanted to refocus their attention on Him. Notice, the purpose of the storm was fulfilled as they took their focus off nature and on to the Saviour. Now here's a nice analogy, stay in the boat where Jesus is during a storm. Why does our flesh desire for us to hide when we're embarrased. Honest to God, Sindy and I pondered staying at home instead of going to church tomorrow. I'm not proud to admit that, but it's worth mentioning that staying in God's Word, and in fellowship with His people is important. I've seen it before where a brother or sister in Christ doesn't show up for church for a few weeks, and when you see them you ask, "where have you been?" The response indicates they were going through a storm, and instead of staying in the boat and focusing on the Saviour, they jump shipped and focused on the storm. I've been praying the past 24 hours that God will give me the wisdom to apply the principle to stay in the boat through this storm.