The Adventure of
was a little unsure of this adventure.
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.
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.
was, however, unsure of the trip through Hezekiah's tunnel.
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.
today, if you go to Jerusalem, you can take a trip through
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…
time, however, since I had several people with me from my
group, I was determined to go. Gingerly, I stepped into
It was too late to turn back when I heard someone from inside
the tunnel groan.
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."
those instructions were in English! Who would have even
said it? That in itself was a miracle.
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!
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.
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.
in my 21 years, I remember thinking…"Is this what it's
like to be truly alone?"
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.
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
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.
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?
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
He was there.
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.
we had not reached out to Him, would He still have been
there? Yes. He's like that, you know. Faithful…always.
like the mile markers…He will provide them. Are you looking?
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!
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…
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
government worker rudely stated, "Ma'am. You just need
to stop wasting your time praying, and fill out the paper
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…!"
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
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
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
a reason to celebrate! As we ate lunch together later that
day, the restaurant manager came out and smiled.
all around!" he declared. He was celebrating with us,
and he didn't even know why!
God knew. He was there with us, at every mile marker…at
every turn in that dark tunnel.
want to see 4 brand new American citizens? Go to facebook.com/kenlovelace.
an adventure life can be -- the adventure of knowing...
Jesus replied, "What is impossible
with men is possible with God."
I tell you the truth, if
you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to
"Move from here to there" and it will move!
Nothing will be impossible for you!
© 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights