Recently we faced a crisis that threatened to overwhelm me.
My husband’s Australian passport had expired, and as he was born overseas the rule was that he needed to prove he was an Australian Citizen. Until he could do that, my fearful imaginings rendered him stateless.
At the height of this crisis, when I questioned the depth of my faith, someone I trusted helped me to go deeper by considering Jesu’ struggle in the garden of Gethsemane. Only when Jesus faced the prospect of his crucifixion, was he able to say to God his Father ‘Not my will but yours be done,’
Could I say the same? I struggled until I could.
Later, on my return home from a walk, my anxiety returned and threatened to destabilise me again. At that point, unexpectedly a Bible verse came into my mind. Where or when I learnt it is a mystery to me but it was like a lifeline thrown to me. Probably from an old Bible translation – it was Proverbs 3:5,
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding …
I said this verse over and over to myself until gradually peace came. I had been ‘leaning to my own understanding’ and as a consequence felt like a bug impaled on a pin.
Through this experience I could empathise in a new way with refugees who were in limbo, their future hanging in the balance, or those languishing in detention centres with no end in sight.
My husband ultimately, with the help of a tech-savvy family member sent every possible document in an attempt to prove his claim to be an Australian citizen. Although we heard nothing, I felt strangely at peace.
It was almost an anti-climax when an email came through saying that his citizenship had been approved. He had been a citizen since1949!
God’s way of working is to bring good out of bad. For instance,
Jesus crucifixion led to resurrection.
Paul the Apostle, because of his imprisonment resorted to writing letters, which we can read today.
It was in the midst of the Black Death that Mother Julian of Norwich wrote the words, ‘All will be well, all will be very well’, which have encouraged many.
It was also during the terrible days of the Crimean war that Florence Nightingale pioneered the care of the wounded which started the nursing profession we rely on today. And there are many other examples of good coming out of bad.
This whole incident over my husband’s citizenship also saw good coming out of bad. The experience helped me to deepen my faith that had grown shallow through overbusyness.