What I’ll Remember from the Trip

“What a friend we have in Jesus….” As I sat on the big tour bus loaded with team members and CCE staff members and pastors, I listened to these words sung in a mixture of English and Slovak. “All our sins and griefs to bear….” It was a rainy, gray day and we had just finished a Sunday adventure of worshiping in an old fashioned, wooden church, exploring Castle Lupca, and investigating the city of Banska Bystrica. The mood of all was one of peace, tiredness, and rest on that drive back to the Bible school. “What a privilege to carry….” I had been asking God to reveal something new to me in Slovakia this year. Part of being a person who returns again and again is the becoming “comfortable” with many aspects of the trip and maybe even, dare I say, forgetting to rely so completely on the One who is in control of all things. I noticed that attitude a bit and had been asking my heavenly Father to help me to remember what I’d learned from my previous Slovakia trips as well as to teach me something new. “Everything to God in prayer.” What God showed to me in Slovakia this year was more of an object lesson on this bus rather than in the direct ways He had spoken to my heart over there in the past. As we were driving along, a primary-aged Slovak son came to his father with a small problem that could not be fixed immediately. To help his son wait, this father took him in his arms, held him close and began to sing. It was fairly soft, but very tender. Over and over went the song in a mix of English and Slovak words. As this scene was going on behind me, I was transported in time to my childhood when I would curl up on my earthly father’s lap and how safe and secure I would always feel. The music on this bus ride was so soothing I fell into a deep, peaceful sleep curled up in the warmth of my jacket. I was suddenly awakened when we arrived back at the Bible school. As I have remembered this moment in time, I realized that even in our “problems” – small and not so small – we have a Father who gathers us close and reassures us of His care, His presence, His love. When we are convinced of His goodness, we can rest peacefully knowing no matter what storms may come, He is in control.  This beautiful picture of my Heavenly Father holding me close and singing to me is one that will not easily fade from my memory. “In His arms He’ll take and shield thee; Thou wilt find a solace there.”