In several European countries, there is a tradition of clapping after the plane lands. I do not know how, why or when this tradition started, and as of late, it seems fewer people are doing it when landing in Ukraine.
Friday, as I returned to Kyiv on a WizzAir flight from Budapest, several people started clapping. I smiled and chuckled, remembering the words of a friend and colleague who had posted about such behavior on Facebook recently.
But what captured my attention the most were the squeals of a child a couple of rows behind me. He was clapping and half-shouting, “We’re in Kyiv! We’re in Kyiv!” All the while his mother was trying to shush him…
His reaction caused joy to well up inside me. That’s exactly how I feel after a period of being away from here, and he summed up my feelings as we landed (I just didn’t verbalize them!)
Now, please understand me, I love my country of birth, and will return there to live one day if it is the Lord’s will. But I love the place where God has me right now and I should feel just like that little boy did on the plane.
What causes me much heartache are the number of Ukrainian believers who are eager to leave here because life is a little tough. God has taught me so much through this war in Ukraine. The biggest lesson is that just maybe He has me here for His reason and ultimately, it will be used for His Glory!
It made me wonder about the time when Jesus told the disciples to let the little children come to him. Were there squeals of delight as the children came to Jesus? What were they thinking?
Two things I took away from that boy’s outburst: one, I need to always come to Jesus with a child-like exuberance, knowing that he cares for me and will always be there for me. Second, I need to always be content in whatever situation I may find myself.
I need to shout from the building tops of Dnipropetrovsk, “I’m here! I’m here in the place God sent me and in which I love with all my heart.”