Flying back to begin our second term as cross-cultural workers in Asia Pacific, our two-year-old son, Brice, began to cough. We were on an International Flight from LAX to Hong Kong, mere hours into our fourteen-hour haul. More symptoms followed–wheezing, high fever, trouble breathing, sleeplessness. My heart ached for my sweet, blonde boy, and a sickening, helpless dread threatened to consume me.
Long story short, our scheduled ten-hour layover in Hong Kong turned into a nearly three-day ordeal spent in an Infectious Disease ward, where our family was quickly separated. We took turns sleeping in the small lobby, entertaining our oldest son, while the other waited next to Brice’s bedside. Three days cut off from the outside world, stuck in a country where we couldn’t communicate, in a room full of other sick children and moms we couldn’t understand. I’d never felt so alone. Abandoned. The doctor finally (reluctantly) approved a release and flight to Jakarta, and we were on our way.
But the experience left me with a crack in my soul. Praying was a struggle. It was over, right? Then why did it still hurt? I felt God had let me down. He hadn’t come through the way I had expected. I felt as if it was God who had abandoned us in Hong Kong, leaving us to fend for ourselves.
Looking back now, I know that God was preparing me for a season of increasing stress on the field–for changes in life in ministry that were beyond my control. I needed to wrestle with the hard questions of what I was expecting of God. Did he owe me a life of ease, a life free of conflict or sickness or detours?
It was good for me to ask, to cry out to God and admit He had let me down. Only then could He begin to help me unpack the unrealistic expectations I had on Him. You see, He is far more than I expected. He is for me. He always fights for me. In all He brings, He is good.
What sort of Hong Kong Detour has God led you through recently? When was the last time you felt that God let you down? How might God be challenging you to realign your expectations of Him and His character?