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Ten days left. The move to Thailand looms large in our hearts and minds. We haven't boarded our plane yet, but we are already living in transition. Much of our stuff has been sold, donated, packed, or shipped across the ocean. We go to each of the places of our life  Storytime at the library, the fountains where our girls love to play  for the last time; we help our girls say goodbye, and maybe take a picture there so they can remember. We constantly deal with the underlying stress and we have barely begun.

Moving our family to Thailand means real losses that we and our kids must take time to grieve. It means the loneliness of moving to a new place, compounded by the incompetence of learning to navigate life in a foreign language and, more so, a foreign culture. It means we don't know where we are going to be living two weeks from now. It means extra strain on our marriage and on our kids. It means not only a difficult goodbye to the US now, but a difficult goodbye to Thailand someday in the future. In short, this move means years filled with hundreds of little and big adjustments, sacrifices, and transitions that we would not otherwise have to deal with.

So why on earth are we moving?

This morning, I came back to the perfect words for it. We are moving to Thailand to…

"Run with endurance the race that is marked out for us,
fixing our eyes Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Jesus, with his one life on earth, gave up the comforts he could have had and instead chose to run the race God had marked out for him. We each have the same choice with our one life: Will we devote ourselves to our own comfort, and so despise God's purposes for our lives? Or will we run the race God has marked out for us, even though it means suffering and shame along the way?

Romans 8:18 reminds me of the answer: "Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

Right now our race to Thailand feels costly. We are tired, we are losing our home, and we our leaving our country. But beyond these trials  not around them, only through them  there is a great joy set before us. At the end of our long race, we will sit down beside the throne of God, where we will find our true rest, our everlasting home, and (we pray!) many of our Thai brothers and sisters rejoicing in the only country that will truly last, the Kingdom of God. And that will make it all worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Great reflections, guys! Eloquent, even. As Dad/Papa waiving goodbye as you go, I feel a small bit of your sense of loss. Having 33 years' perspective after leaving like you are doing now, Mom and I already see the value of what we did. Rather, of what God did through what we did. See you this weekend!


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