Because I love spring and all the beauty it offers, viewing the tulips of Holland in the Netherlands was on my bucket list. For several years I have prayed about and planned this trip. This was the year! I wanted my daughter, Andrea to experience this adventure with me, so I was thrilled when she accepted my gift.
Since only God knows the future, I had no idea that I would be extremely ill for weeks and even days prior to our trip departure. There was conversation about re-scheduling, but the expense was too great and too many schedules had been altered. With a physician’s visit and prescriptions in tow, I trusted God would enable me to enjoy the trip.
For me, the blessing of observing Andrea’s excitement and awe was invaluable. Each day brought new discoveries and memories abundant. Less than thirty hours after our arrival, we met Christian buddies to accompany us on our journey. What a joy it was when an unfortunate circumstance arose to stand together in “prayer” that God would intervene and “take charge” of the emergency. Of course He did!
As so often happens when strangers meet, they query. They seek to know about other’s lives. This trip was no different. One hundred and fifteen strangers, many of whom we met and many whom called themselves friends, two weeks later as we parted ways. There are no doubts God placed my daughter and I exactly with the people He chose for us to meet.
I received one of God’s hugs, when one of our buddies that queried about me, hugged me tightly and with such great care and concern. Only months prior I had been chastised for “loving too much and too long.” I knew then that no one has the right to judge another. Now here stood a lady I didn’t know, reminding me that God allowed me to love and I may never find another love for the love I gave was great. As she held me tightly, she whispered in my ear, “always remember your beautiful children were created from that love you had.” Tearfully, it was a reminder, God sees and hears all our thoughts and emotions.
The beauty of the Netherlands at this time of year provides not only fragrant spring flowers, but strong winds and cool temperatures. Bundling in multiple layers, scarves, hats and gloves became the “norm” of each day’s outings. Nonetheless, the magnificence of our surroundings warmed our hearts.
God affords us many learning opportunities when we travel. As we experience different lands and cultures, we also are reminded of the wealth we possess. It doesn’t matter our age or status, we are a blessed people. Too often we complain that we don’t have a large enough home or vehicle or that we don’t have enough “stuff.”
As we visited a home in the Netherlands, our hostess and her family of five had resided in their home for forty years. Along with two large dogs, her lovely home was 1,000 sq. feet. There was not a yard or a garage with two, three or more vehicles, but a couple of bicycles which were the primary mode of transportation.
We learned the Dutch are “happy” people. Whatever they have, they feel blessed. This should be a lesson learned for each of us. NKJ I Thess. 5:18, “In every thing give thanks…”