God has been teaching me about having a quiet spirit. I hadn't been outwardly grumbling or complaining, but inwardly I struggled greatly with a huge disappointment – let me set the scene. God was kind enough to get our entire luggage to Serbia, unharmed and in one piece. I had people praying specifically for boxes 6 & 7 which held our electronics and the Christmas presents we had for the kids. They had been inspected, but nothing was missing or broken. However, there was one other very dear item that was important to me. So important, that instead of praying, I carried it on with me to ensure its safety. It was an external hard drive. All of our documents, passwords, homeschool programs, music, photos, videos and more were loaded onto the drive. I had it safely in the carry-on suitcase.
When we were close to boarding in Chicago for our long flight to Warsaw, the flight attendants came and told us the flight was full & that they wanted to check some carry-on bags to the final destination to make room. They took my suitcase. They asked me to remove anything valuable first, and I removed the hard drive from its safe place. Then we had a rushed boarding experience because they allowed us to get on the plane first since I was traveling with a small child.
Now we are settled into the apartment in Serbia. I looked in my purse and could not find the hard drive. No problem, I thought, I'm sure I've just set it aside while unpacking. Then slowly, as more things are organized and finding their place, I realized there was no hard drive.
A stone rolled over in my inside. I prayed fervently for the Lord to help me find it. I was constantly reminded of the widow who lost a coin and rejoiced greatly, even called friends and neighbors to celebrate when it was found. To me this was more precious than a coin. I rechecked places several times, even though I knew it wouldn't be there. Now I was inwardly struggling. I fell asleep praying for a miracle. I woke up retracing my steps in the airport when they took the bag. Perhaps it wasn't completely in my purse and fell out during the rush. I pined for it throughout the day. Continually questioning why this was so difficult for me to be content when God has answered so many other countless prayers. I fixated on this one that was unanswered.
Then it hit me. I'm throwing a self-centered pity party tantrum because my request is not answered. I'm praying about the wrong thing. Instead I needed to pray for my own growth, my unconditional love for Him, my open hand on everything – from the important things to the petty ones. I started to pray for a quiet spirit. One that would go on living with eyes set on eternal things, not focused on the earthly ones. He answered my prayer.
I Peter 3:3-4 – "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."
I wanted to find a verse to go in my blog & this was the first one I found. It made me smile, because this morning I thought, if I had to pack for this move over again, what would I do differently. My response was less jewelry & more ziplock bags! My worth in God's sight is a gentle and quiet spirit. He finds it unfadingly beautiful! I want to be gorgeous to Him. I still have a long way to go. I'm making small steps, but it's been two days of peace and for that I'm incredibly grateful.
Alex left to go back to the States today. We finished packing up his suitcases last night. While going through his stuff, he pulled out a small silver hard drive. Then I remembered. My purse was full, so I quickly stuffed it in Alex's carry-on. I'm crying again even as I type this. I don't deserve it. His peace was sufficient. But His mercy and goodness and lovingkindness overflows my cup. How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of his salvation and call upon the name of the Lord in the presence of all his people.
"And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Luke 15:9-10