We were driving from Savannah to Millen earlier, and our two year old cried out “HOME!” “Where’s home?” my wife inquired. “I don’t know,” was our daughter’s pitiful reply. We moved out of our apartment in Statesboro just over a week ago and have been living with family in our hometown. We are inexpressably greatful to our families, but the period of being in limbo has been a test. We are five days away from our departure date and are at the point where excitement gives way to stress which gives way to exhaustion. It’ll only get more interesting when we’re taking our toddler on a plane ride across the world! I imagine that, upon arriving at our Shanghai apartment, we will melt onto our bed like a couple of Salvador Dali’s clocks! At least our bed will have a real matress – nothing like the wooden board I slept on in Wuhan.
It should come as no surprise, with less than a week before the big move, that the warfare has heated up, and flaming arrows are falling all around us. I am afraid however, that we’ve been caught with our shields lying on the ground next to us, and some of the weapons have hit their target. If disciples are identified by their love for one another, what more practical tactic of the enemy than to cause dissention? Frustrations with each other and other people have tempted Anna and me to respond as if we were merely humans, rather than the new creatures that we are. Pride, fear, and idolatry have reared their ugly heads as we’ve said and done things we ought not.
But to recognize it is grace! To see clearly our need is a sweet, sweet grace. All the sweeter it becomes with the knowledge that we can expectantly ask for more grace – in greater measure – for that need to be met. It’s nice to know that even when we freak out because we don’t have a home in this world, or we’re caught off guard by enemy fire, everything really is going to work out for our good in the end.