God in the Unexpected

by Kathy Sinclair

Growing up in England, Australia was always fondly known to me as the land “down under”. Well, my husband and I now live in the land down under, but recently we experienced our lives being turned upside down as it became unexpectedly necessary to leave the relative safety of Australia and return to the other side of the world. We received one of those life-changing phone calls when you are told that someone you love is seriously ill and not expected to live much longer. It was Mark’s dad. Grappling with the shock of the news, we prayed, asking the Lord what we should do, especially in the middle of a pandemic. A few whirlwind days later, the necessary paperwork and tests were completed, and we found ourselves sitting on a very empty plane, making our way back across the world to say good-bye to a very dear man, husband, father and grandfather.

I’m not going to gloss over the reality that setting out into a world struggling hugely with Covid-19 was daunting, to say nothing of the sad personal reasons weighing heavily on us. We trusted God had opened the door for us to leave Australia, but unwanted anxious thoughts and feelings kept assailing me! I tried to comfort myself by remembering that since Covid hit in early 2020, change has been a constant for all of us, regardless of our circumstances. In many ways our individual, but also collective future feels much more unknown than it once perhaps seemed. Mmmmm, those thoughts didn’t really comfort me at all! Just because uncertainty is happening to everyone else, it didn’t help! I think like many humans I crave certainty. For example, I wanted the certainty of a date when I could fly back to Australia to see my family again – but no, something that used to be as simple as opening a computer, credit card in hand and booking tickets, had now become a source of huge uncertainty. So what to do? How could I stop myself falling into a pit of anxiety?

What has helped me, is to remember the words spoken by God to his people so, so long ago. Words that echo down through the ages and bring immense comfort even in the midst of a pandemic:

“But you are my witnesses, … You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God—there never has been, and there never will be.” Isaiah 43:10

These wonderful words remind me that God remains with me, and he is for me! His love has woven through time, finding perfect expression in the person of Jesus, the friend “who sticks closer than a brother”, he will not abandon me. I am safe.

And so, holding tight to the God who is still God, the God who sees me and loves me, I try to take each day step by step. I deliberately ponder on the oh so true and wise words of Jesus, who advised not to worry about the future, because each day has enough trouble of its own.

 

Kathy Sinclair is the BWAA Church Relationship Manager in Western Australia. Kathy joined Baptist World Aid in January 2019. She comes to the role having spent 11-years on staff at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Western Australia, as the Children and Families Pastor. In more recent years, she also held responsibility for overseeing the church’s mission ministry. Kathy has been a speaker for Christian Women Communicating Internationally (CWCI) for several years, where she enjoys the privilege of travelling around Western Australia to teach God’s word. She enjoys visiting church communities to share about the work of Baptist World Aid and how individuals and congregations can respond effectively to God’s heart for the poor and needy. Kathy is married to Mark and has two children and a daughter-in-law.

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