Matthew 3:1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”
Siguatepeque is a city of speed bumps. To attempt to slow traffic in certain areas, the city places speed bumps in random spots. Many of the streets in our town are not paved and in addition to the city sanctioned speed bumps, some people construct their own speed bumps out of the dirt and stones in the street to make sure traffic around their houses moves nice and slow. Most of these speed bumps are not marked because you cannot paint dirt. If you are not watching you can come across a speed bump you did not see and take out the axle, and possibly lose a few teeth in the process.
This city is filled with other road blocks not found in the street. Trying to get registered as a foster family leads you into some of these road blocks. There is one particular medical physical form that you must have a physician complete on every person in your home. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? You go to the doctor, get and exam, and then he pulls the form up on his computer and fills it out… right? The answer to that is “No.”
First you have to go to the bank and buy the form. Yes, that is right, the bank. The problem with this is that no one can give you a straight answer as to which bank has the form you need. So we started going to banks and stood in long lines. When we got to the teller at the first bank and asked for the form, she told us they do not have the form we need. When we finally found a teller at another bank who knew which bank has the right form we went to THAT bank and stood in line.
When we finally got to the teller to ask if they have the form, he told us, “Yes, but it can only be found at another branch.” After we finally got the right branch and the right form, we then went to the doctor, waited in line, and then let him/her fill out the form. AND that was just for one of the forms. That does not count the background check form that we had to buy at another bank and drive to another city to get filled out.
Speed bump after speed bump really tries one’s patience. It is only by remembering that God has called us here to serve these people that I relax, smile, and let it all just wash over me like cool river stream.
The passage quoted above tells about how John the Baptizer was sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus, to help clear some of the speed bumps to help Jesus (the Son of God) do what he was sent to do; to do more than just remove a speed bump for us. Jesus created a path to God that had once been destroyed by sin through His death, burial, and resurrection. Think about this, this happened in part because John was sent to remove some speed bumps for God.
I was reminded that we all need people to remove speed bumps from our lives from time to time in the last few days. Yesterday we got a call from Tara Garcia who told us that she and her husband Jorge were coming through Siguatepeque and going to meet with the Honduran version of the child welfare system.
Their desire was to meet with us and take whatever paperwork we had with them to help expedite the process. We made a mad dash and put together much of the paperwork we need. One speed bump removed. We needed reference letters for the process, so we called and emailed some folks and within a few hours we had the letters we needed. Another speed bump removed. That which was going to take a few months to gather was done in an afternoon and morning.
In life we have the choice of whether we are going to be a speed bump or remove speed bumps from the lives of other people. Thank God for good Christian friends who, “prepare the way for the Lord (and) make straight paths for” Jesus to pour His grace into my family’s lives each day. Jesus help me do the same for others in your name as well.