Psalm 9:10; Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Google defines trust as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something, to commit (someone or something) to the safekeeping of. This means we can not draw on human comparison in light of God’s ability to steadfastly keep us safe, to love us, and to never leave us. Our mere humanity can not hold a candle to His unfailing faithfulness, it’s literally impossible. But yet, even in our frailty and shortcomings He is there. He seeks us out, He desires our hearts, and we are not alone in this big universe of land and sea.
I am constantly in awe of God’s faithfulness in my life but even more so when I am not in the comfort of my home country. I see first hand how God moves with His merciful grace to keep us from harm and little ways that He reminds me He loves me with exceptional heart evidence. There were multiple instances of specific things and occurrences where God took over the situation while we were on vacation in Thailand. Actually, it was a monumental seven times God provided for us, kept us safe, and made impossible possible while on our trip.
My finger tips pen these virtual words in hopes that you would see how truly personal, loving, and faithful our God is. That even though we are about the size of a speck of dust compared to the galaxy we inhabit God is not far removed from His people. He does not turn His face from those who call upon Him.
1. The 26-hour airport layover in Qatar. We stepped off our 14/15 hr flight from Chicago to Qatar ready to eat and crash at our reserved room at the airport hotel. Our flight had been delayed and we had a whooping 26-hr layover in the Qatar airport. However, when we went to check in for our room we couldn’t. The airport and hotel failed to advise us of their strict policy that no passenger can stay in the airport more than 24 hours. Of course this was a problem for us as we had booked a room in the airport in order to sleep so that we could then catch our shorter flight to Krabi, Thailand. The hotel staff informed us they would speak with security and see if there could be an exception made. We waited, and waited, and waited some more in the hotel lobby. Absolutely exhausted and hungry the hotel staff encouraged us after a few hours to go ahead and eat in the airport and once done to return and see if there was an update from security. We went down to the first level and ate at this Italian restaurant called Soprafino. Little did we know that would be our go-to stop for every meal in the Qatar airport. After taking about an hour to relax and eat Gary and I made our way back up to the hotel lobby where we found out we were denied access to the hotel and would not be allowed to stay in the airport. However, what seemed like an inconvenient and irritating development turned around for our good. The hotel staff were apologetic and extremely pleasant to work with. They refunded us our room and booked us a new hotel outside the airport that was exceptional as well as cheaper than what we paid. We made our way through security and immigration to buy our visas. The hotel pick-up was waiting for us on the other side of security and we boarded our hotel transfer to our new reservation. As soon as we stepped outside the heat hit us like never before. I have never been in a heat like the heat in the Middle East. It is literally no joke, at 8 pm at night with a heat index of 130 degrees. We made it safely to a beautiful hotel and slept during our layover.
2. No pick-up in Krabi. After our 7 or so hour flight from Qatar into Krabi we waited in one of the smallest airports ever. With only a few terminals we waited for our resort pick-up. And we waited, and then waited some more. It started to occur to me that Thailand works on Thai time just like Africa. And when plan A doesn’t work out improvise and go to plan B and plan C and plan D.
As I’m sure you can guess…our resort pick-up never showed. We waited expectantly as other travelers went about their way to their respected resorts. And ours…well it was no where to be seen. We opted to take a taxi to the resort directly since we had already waited long enough and we would then explain the mishap to our resort upon arrival. We acquired a taxi after exchanging some money over and after loading our bags into the car we attempted to give the taxi driver our resort information. Except he didn’t really understand and not only that he had no idea where the resort was located. We tried writing down the name of the resort, we just so happened to have the address of our resort written down but no phone number. And of course we weren’t near wifi so our phones were literally useless.
3. Our taxi driver didn’t know where our Resort was and had never heard of it. As I stated our taxi driver had no clue where our resort was even with the address we had. I’ll be completely honest I felt tinges of panic race around in the corridors of my heart. I kept thinking, Oh Lord what in the world have we gotten ourselves into? And I silently prayed. As Gary and I kept trying to explain the directions and name of the resort to our taxi driver he called over several other taxi drivers to inquire about the resort. Out of about 5 different men only 1 knew. Even with the language barrier I could see as the man explained clearly to our driver exactly where we were heading. That man will never know how much that such small bit of knowledge soothed my heart. And just like that we were on our way.
4. Room not ready. We finally arrived to our resort. We were staying at Gillhams Fishing Resort in Krabi, Thailand as seen on Animal Planet’s River Monsters with Jeremy Wade. We checked in and waited absorbing all the lushness of our location. Unfortunately the previous guests hadn’t checked out for the day and we were left to wait for our room to be exited and then cleaned. However, the owner’s daughter Becky saw how exhausted we were and upgraded us to a brand new just renovated bungalow. (And side note: our shower and toilet had never been used before so in my book that is a WIN WIN!) Becky also explained to her Dad (the owner) about our pick-up not arriving at the airport to bring us to the resort. He graciously reimbursed us for the taxi ride we had to make ourselves. I’m telling you all of this is a total God thing.
5. Boat wouldn’t start. Finally it was time for our snorkeling and private boat day trip. We arrived at the marina bright and early with the sweetest and happiest Thai woman I have ever met.
(Side note: when she first came to pick us up at the resort she told us she would take good care of us like her own children. For whatever reason after she said that I had such peace flood my heart. It was such a precious and I could tell completely genuine response to our inquiries if we were with the right boat tour company.)
When I say happiest, I truly mean it. Sherry had a smile that made her sunkissed, freckled skin glow. Even when she was driving us to the marina her smile never faltered. I watched with pride her talk about her home and what she loved about Thailand. I knew from her smile that she loves waking up each morning and sharing her world with people as well as spending time out on the ocean. We waited at the dock as her son was to bring the long boat over in order for us to board. But what should’ve been an easy and quick task turned out to burning about an hour of daylight as the son unknowingly anchored the boat in a blind spot not allowing the solar panels to charge in the morning sun. With no charge the engine would not turn over and he had to have neighboring boats tow him to the dock. Sherry looked well composed as she figured out a plan B with her son for our trip. She made a call and swiftly her friend allowed them to borrow his boat for the day as he was not tied to any tour appointment for the day. Which that was a miracle in and of itself as tour boats go fast with hungry tourists itching to go see the many unique islands that Thailand has to offer.
6. Boat broke down. And then the worst thing that you never want to happen, happened. Our boat broke down and would not start as we were making our way back for the day. The waves were so choppy that the boat swayed in a sickening motion up and down and up and down with no relent. The tease of the dock was in sight but no other boat was. I closed my eyes trying not to get sea sick from the constant upheaval of the boats sway. I’m not one to get motion sickness but in this instance I was really close. I sat silently with my eyes closed praying in the Holy Ghost and commanding the boat to start and get us safely to shore. As soon as I was done praying and said, “You will start in the name of Jesus!” Sherry’s son pulled the engine cord and the boat guzzled to life again. You can’t tell me there isn’t power in that name!
7. Upgraded at no cost. Making our trek home we had yet another long layover in Qatar. But with us being under the 24-hour layover limit we knew we would be just fine to check into our last reservation at the airport hotel inside of the Doha Airport. As we were checking in the reception desk clerk advised us she had upgraded us at no additional cost. We would receive a better room than the one we had scheduled. And being at the almost end of our travel an unexpected upgrade was a welcomed delight.
I share all of these stories from our travel because even on vacation thousands of miles away from home and my everyday routine God showed up in BIG ways to remind me He is always there. That’s why no matter what goes on in my life or in this world I have the assurance of a God who shows up every single time and so do you.