Overseas students home-bound: Thank God for the many ETAs expected this week
Emilyn Tan // March 18, 2020, 11:12 am
Masked, en masse: Students on a flight take no chances. Photo shared anonymously on Whatsapp.
When this photo was shared on social media, the mothers I knew went into praying mode.
Whether or not we had kids scrambling for a seat on a flight – any flight – headed out of the United Kingdom, or the United States, or anywhere in Europe, the shared tension was palpable.
There’s more intercession to be made than “journey mercies” on a flight; we pray for the true faith that leads to obedience.
Together, we just wanted these kids – ours by proxy, all of them – out of wherever they were, and home.
The fellowship in that sort of unity of purpose is a gift from heaven, wrought in the mother’s womb. It was birthed in labour and burnished through the unquantifiable pains and pleasures of mothering through childhood and teen-hood and young adulthood.
Call it a network. Call it a nerve centre. Call it what you will. It’s a God-given whatever for the purpose of keeping us going. For such a time as this, there’s nothing like a friend who’s also a mother.
March 15: “Her sore throat last week is worse now, there’s a bit of fever. She will call tomorrow to find out about the swab and go to the hospital if necessary.”
March 16: “She’s better today. Tix booked, ETA Wed evening. Pray that she’ll get on the flight and it’ll be an uneventful one.”
March 17: “Amsterdam flights banned in Singapore?”
Her daughter being bumped off at the very last minute from a flight denied entry into Changi Airport prompted this text past midnight, March 18: “It’s like war zone! We need to find alternatives ourselves. We’ve been online looking, searching, calling for the last three hours! Really feels like war time!”
Finally: “Managed to book another airline, Finnair that still flies to Singapore.”
Our prayer of thanksgiving: “Lord God Almighty, we thank You for You are Jehovah Jireh. We pray for journey mercies all the way back home for all the students overseas who are trying to come home. Hear our prayers, in Your mercy. Amen.”
Call it a network. Call it a nerve centre. Call it what you will. It’s a God-given whatever for the purpose of keeping us going.
The AMEN echoed widely through Whatsapp and Telegram.
Together, mothers are loving each other, and their kids, to the end of this episode, after the example our Lord set us.
John 13:1 tells us Jesus loved His disciples to the uttermost. He still does, in our day.
In every way, garments of majesty laid aside and girded with towel, He continues to wash our feet with the water of His Word (Ephesians 5:26) and reminds us there is an hour, indeed, for everything.
The hope is that we mothers have been growing in trust through all the shared years He’s given us. And what better test of the integrity of this than trial?
This we know through grit-and-grime experience: There will be a tomorrow, no doubt about it. And while we’re traversing that fine line between running scared and exercising due diligence, we hear what Jesus says: “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” (John 13:7)
Lest we veil our fears with bravado and loose talk of having no worries, Peter’s refusal (John 13:8, 37) of the Lord’s grace warns us against the temptation to be less than self-aware. Into his heart, Jesus spoke a harsh truth: “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied Me three times” (John 13:38).
He continues to wash our feet with the water of His Word and reminds us there is an hour, indeed, for everything.
Through these COVID-19 days, the warfare aspect of our lives (1 Peter 5:8) couldn’t be more real. There’s more intercession to be made than plain “journey mercies” on a flight; we pray for the true faith that leads to obedience (1 Peter 1:2).
It’s what Jesus did for Peter, in fullness of godly love: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.” (Luke 22:31-32)
He does the same for us:
- Jesus ever liveth to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25)
- Jesus was manifested to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8)
So, come on home, kids. Mums (and dads) are praying. The chicken soups for the soul are already on double-boil.
And besides, Jesus has won the victory (1 Corinthians 15:57). Thanks be to God, you’re home free.
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