I was shuffling through the passport control line to enter Kyrgyzstan when I realized something.
Sometimes obedience means waiting in line.
Let me back up.
Right now me and the kids are on a we-can-only-stay-in-the-country-we-live-in-for-15-days kind of visa-less existence. That means every 14 days, we take a trip across town to get in a van to drive 3.5 hours across the steppe and over mountain passes to the border. Then we cross out of Kazakhstan, into Kyrgyzstan, out of Kyrgyzstan and back into Kazakhstan. It takes about an hour to get though all the lines. Then we pop back into the car and drive 3.5 hours back.
In the words of my second oldest son, “It’s not super fun, mommy.”
Still, I know it is something God has put in our lives right now.
We have lived in Kazakhstan almost seven years. Recently our visas fell through and God said it was time to move back to the United States. He also directed us to finish well.
That last part takes time. There is all the logistical stuff, to be sure, but there is the more important part of saying goodbye and trying to do our best for those we will leave behind. And it includes Jake finishing out the semester so as to leave a good testimony with his employer.
And so we are crossing back and forth until everything is settled and we fly out in January.
I have to be honest. When we talked about when we would leave, I was motivated to leave sooner. I hate crossing the border (based a few bad experiences) and I didn’t want to sign me and the kids up for multiple crossings in the dead of winter. I just didn’t.
And yet God directed me to do the very thing I dreaded.
So here I was, shuffling through the line when it hit me.
Sometimes obedience isn’t an adrenaline rush or a mountain top or anything glamorous at all. Sometimes obedience is standing in line doing something you don’t really want to do that, on first glance, doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the kingdom of God.
But like the Scripture says, “to obey is better than sacrifice.”
And as I waited for the sound of the stamp on our passports, I knew we were right where we were supposed to be.
It all matters to God. The ministry times, and the crossing the border times. The times no one sees (and the times you just think no one is watching).
And, after the border crossings were done for the day and I suddenly found myself with a huge appetite (can we say stress eater?) I was glad. Yes, I will have to cross again. Once if we can manage a tourist visa, three times if we can’t. But I don’t want to leave looking back wondering if I finished well. To be honest, it’s hard enough to have to leave. I want to know in myself that I finished this assignment with all my heart, mind, soul and strength…. And that God will be with me during our next one.
In the meantime, we have 11 more days before our next trip. Let the countdown begin!