It was early in the morning and the immigration officer gave me a once over with an inquisitive glance as he looked through my passport. It had been a long week of flying, and the eight-and-a-half hour car ride through the night to get me to the international airport that I would be flying out of commercially had offered me little sleep. Unshaven and red-eyed, I was anxious to catch my flight. But first I needed to check out of the country with immigration.
With a probing look the official questioned me, “Do you have everything?” My mind raced as I mentally ran through my personal checklist, “Do I have my bags, cell phone, yellow fever card, passport?” I thought. All was in order as I hesitantly confirmed with a doubtful tone. “Where is he going with this question?” I thought to myself.
Then he said again, “Are you sure you don’t lack anything?” In a quick but gentle response to his question, I countered with my own question for him, “What is it you are lacking?” Now let me share with you that I often say things I regret, or wish I would have thought a little more before I said them. I have a big mouth and that is only because my foot has too often frequented the opening. But this time I don’t even think it was me who spoke. It was one of those moments where you look around to see who was speaking and come to realize that it could only have been you.
To my query, “What are you lacking?”, the official, seated behind his desk, replied with a thoughtful inflection in his voice three simple words, “Assurance of tomorrow.”
Would there be assurance of tomorrow? What a great question for anyone to ponder. We make great plans in life, yet we don’t even know the simplest thing: will there even be a tomorrow?
Receiving back my stamped passport, I smiled and looked at him answering, “The only assurance we have is in Christ.” He took up the words with exuberance and let out a heart-felt “Amen” as we shook hands, both with smiles on our faces.
Sometimes in life you just don’t know what to say and sometimes in life the Holy Spirit just puts the right words where they need to be (Acts 4:8) even when you are oblivious to what God is doing. I don’t know what that government official needed. My sleepy mind was surprised to even comprehend what I was saying, but God knows just what that man needed to hear. Our loving Father knows just what each of us lacks and what each of us needs to hear.