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Inspirational Articles by Lygia Lovelace

 

The Adventure of Knowing

 

 

I was a little unsure of this adventure.

 

In my early 20's I spent several months in Jerusalem, Israel. It was a life-changing experience for me, and over the years, as I have pondered my time there, God has continued to teach me through that "trip of a lifetime." I was so young…oh, to be there now, when I know so much more.

 

But this was God's timing as I trudged through the streets of Jerusalem, walked (and walked and walked) to Bethlehem, and spent happy, carefree times on the Mount of Olives.

 

I was, however, unsure of the trip through Hezekiah's tunnel.

 

Do you know this tunnel? Hezekiah built it in defense of the Southern Kingdom of Judah against the Assyrians. The Northern Kingdom, Israel, had already been laid siege upon by these pagan people. The former ten tribes of Israel had been captured and hopelessly scattered! King Hezekiah, in protection of his own Southern Kingdom, tunneled a waterway underneath the City of David and into Jerusalem. It was a brilliant idea! It was a crooked and winding tunnel, but it was a waterway that served its purpose, nonetheless.

 

Even today, if you go to Jerusalem, you can take a trip through Hezekiah's tunnel.

 

When I approached the entrance to the tunnel so many years ago, it was…dark. And it smelled of stagnant water. I had already considered going through it several times before that, but had changed my mind each time before actually entering…

 

This time, however, since I had several people with me from my group, I was determined to go. Gingerly, I stepped into the tunnel.
It was too late to turn back when I heard someone from inside the tunnel groan.

 

"Oh, the lighting system has gone out again…all right, people! Hang on as best you can to the sides of the cave and just keep walking, one step at a time."

 

Thankfully, those instructions were in English! Who would have even said it? That in itself was a miracle.

 

As I "just kept walking," I thrust myself into the pitch blackness. I began talking to the person in front of me -- a friend of mine from our group. We had come together, after all. We could certainly endure this together!

 

But when I posed a question, there was no response from her! I reached out in front of me and called her name…where was she? Where were any of them? As I called out, no one at all responded. It appeared I was on my own.

 

I continued on -- groping the sides and stepping -- over and over. I began to feel water seep into my sandals…and soon I was wading in 2 feet of water -- water that smelled bad! Though I occasionally continued to call out, no one responded. No one at all.

 

Even in my 21 years, I remember thinking…"Is this what it's like to be truly alone?"

 

A reminder shot through my mind that indeed, even in an underground tunnel built centuries ago, even in complete darkness and stagnant water…even in complete aloneness…there can still be trust. God was there.

 

As a child of only nine years, I had invited Him into my life. Now, I could feel Him through the uncertainty. As my feet reached for footholds in the murky water, I knew He was there. As I stumbled and fell into the water…still He was there.

 

He was there. There was nothing else to do but to just keep going. His presence was so real to me in those moments. He was there.
This experience became history when I returned to the States. I rarely spoke of it. But ironically, those memories came flooding back eight years later, on a snowy road with a husband and two small children.

 

We were making a surprise trip to Grandma's house! No one really knew we were coming, so no one would even worry about us if we never came! Two-year-old Bracken and tiny Brooklyn -- just a few months old -- were asleep in the back of our van. The snow was blowing so hard, it was difficult for Ken to keep the van on the road. There were no other cars around and visibility was terrible. Should we stop? Should we just keep going?

 

That's when we discovered the mile markers. Without them, we would have been lost. Mile after mile, without fail, small signs guided our path. We weren't sure we were even going in the direction of Grandma's house, but it didn't matter anymore. We were surviving! We were staying on the road. We were safe. Mile by mile, though we didn't know what lie ahead, God was guiding us. But only little by little -- not all at once.
He was there.

 

Have you ever had any truly alone instances in your lifetime? Oh, I've felt them quite often: when our children had problems, when there was serious illness, when death threatened at our door. All of these have been frightening adventures of walking through dark tunnels and traversing snowy roads.

 

If we had not reached out to Him, would He still have been there? Yes. He's like that, you know. Faithful…always.

 

Just like the mile markers…He will provide them. Are you looking?

 

We were reminded of that this week as four of our adopted blessings received their American citizenship. It was an impossible adventure! It was a miraculous accomplishment!

 

For reasons that we cannot reveal at this time, it was imperative that we receive their citizenship now. We had already tried once to obtain Grayson's, several years ago. At that time, immigration lost our paperwork and our deposit, with no record that we had even sent it. This time when we filled out the paperwork, we were dreading the headache. It just seemed a dark tunnel of bureaucracy, and it was expensive! We knew we wouldn't be able to pay for it…especially four applications at once?! It would be several thousand dollars…

 

The circumstances were random and unusual, and they were beyond our control. "I understand this has to be done now." I commented out loud. "We'll just have to pray about this."

 

A government worker rudely stated, "Ma'am. You just need to stop wasting your time praying, and fill out the paper work."

 

We prayed anyway.

 

God is a God of impossibilities, right?? He knew the truth. He knew the need. It was a dark tunnel. We weren't sure of the way out. We felt all alone. But it was like that voice in the tunnel so many years ago, "Alright people…hang on! …and just keep walking, one step at a time…!"

 

After reviewing our completed paperwork, the immigration officer said, "Well…it seems that everything is in order. And you're in luck. A new bill has just been passed where you can actually apply for citizenship for free. Would you like an application?"

 

Would we?! It wasn't long before we were notified that our four blessings would be granted citizenship, and for free! This happened in just a few weeks. Do you know what a miracle that is?! Praise God Almighty, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, the Maker of all Nations, the Defeater of all Bureaucratic Headaches…and the Leader More Powerful than any government worker!

 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011, at 1:00 in the afternoon, we Lovelace's gained four new American citizens in our home. As they each received their American flags and their certificates of citizenship, I prayed for a greater citizenship for each of them -- a citizenship in heaven. Oh, how I long for them all to be adopted into God's Country -- His Kingdom -- where even dark tunnels and hopeless blizzards are in the Father's sovereign hands.

 

What a reason to celebrate! As we ate lunch together later that day, the restaurant manager came out and smiled.

 

"Cookies all around!" he declared. He was celebrating with us, and he didn't even know why!

 

But God knew. He was there with us, at every mile marker…at every turn in that dark tunnel.

 

You want to see 4 brand new American citizens? Go to facebook.com/kenlovelace.

 

What an adventure life can be -- the adventure of knowing...

 

God is there.

 

 

Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."
Luke 18:27

 


I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain,
"Move from here to there" and it will move!
Nothing will be impossible for you!

Matthew 17:20





 

 

Copyright © 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights reserved. KenLovelaceMinistries.com




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