This is the day that the Lord has made…

… I will rejoice and be glad in it! (Psalm 118:24)

My family and I found ourselves singing this song today after leaving from the Russian embassy here in Helsinki having experienced our first unsuccessful visa application attempt. (And just for the record, the very minor hassle that I am about to share here in no way compares to the major ones that I know many of you have experienced with visas, but I thought I’d share about it nonetheless. I couldn’t be more grateful that this is so far our biggest visa hassle!)

We were so diligent to meticulously fill out all of the paperwork beforehand and to come ready with every possible thing that we thought might be needed, but what we didn’t know is that we needed to have HIV tests for our entire family in order to get this new type of visa that we were applying for. Oh no! So, what was supposed to be our day of sightseeing on the last sunny day here for awhile turned into a morning full of getting lost downtown and then having to subject one very terrified little girl and one thankfully ambivalent little boy, and ourselves to a less than pleasant blood test. I felt so sad saying to my daughter, “Sorry honey, I know we promised that we were going to go have fun after this, but how about we go get shots instead?!” Not a good trade-off. And now our already 2-week long visa trip is extended by another few days meaning that we’re going to miss out on visiting our sweet neighbor, Babushka Anya, at her summer cabin in the countryside. How sad!

But, the title of the post is truly what God enabled to happen with this day. Praise God for scripture put to catchy tunes for children! God brought this little song to mind right away, and used His word to clearly present us all with the choice of either getting really frustrated and annoyed with the situation, or just going with it and seeing what blessings God had yet in store. I wish I could say that I always maintain the right perspective when my plan gets thrown off, but sadly I don’t. This time though, we really experienced the Holy Spirit giving us patience and joy in the midst of a (minor) trial, and the result was rejoicing and joy in the experience as a family, and even a bit of fun downtown. It’s amazing what the leading of the Holy Spirit plus ice-cream cones before lunch can do to help one keep a joyful heart!

So I write this little post as a little “Hello from Finland!” and also an encouragement to rejoice in the day that the Lord has made for you today. I hope it is a great one, but even if it’s not, I pray that you experience the Lord’s blessings for you in it! Does anyone else have a story of God enabling you to rejoice in the midst of one of these ever-so common inconveniences that are a staple of life overseas?

(Post by: Ashley)


3 Responses to “This is the day that the Lord has made…”

  1. 1 Kim W. May 27, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    What a great story! Sorry for all the hassles, but what a teachable moment for the kiddos [and the whole fam]. It’s so understandable to experience disappointment and frustration – what a great model for J and S to see your dependence on Him and joy as a result. I pray all the other details of your trip and application goes more smoothly.

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