In December 2005, I traveled to Constanta Romania to speak in a church there for their Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. It was my 7th trip there, so I had no reservations about going, but my flight was delayed leaving my hometown. I missed my original flight to Amsterdam and when I finally arrived in Bucharest 12 hours late, my luggage had not come on the flight.
The next morning after four hours of sleep, I took the train to Constanta. I only had the clothes I was wearing which included a sweatshirt that had the letters NU on the front which stood for the university in my hometown.
The only problem was that NU in Romanian means- No.
I went to the church my church partnered with at the time for the college group’s Christmas party. They invited me to a celebration at a Baptist church which included students from diverse churches. I sat in the back hoping to be anonymous because I knew what my sweatshirt meant in their language.
BUT- one of the young people from the church I went to help went to the pastor of that church to tell him they had an American missionary with them. He asked me to share a message. So the first thing I did was explain why my sweatshirt said no in their language.
My luggage came the next day. My sharing about my lost luggage endeared me to the students more so than if I had worn the clothes I would have normally worn for such an occasion.
In so many ways, my trips to Romania underscored for me that our disappointments often can lead to God’s appointments.
The bible is full of accounts of people running into disappointments that were actually God at work to set up something even better.
All a person needs to do is read the book of Acts. In each chapter it seems there is an account of Peter or Paul running into obstacles that led to God’s work.
So when we experience disappointment, perhaps we can first ask God what he wants to do or what he is leading us to.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.