Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Not For Me

The perspective change. One of those moments where God takes the way you’re looking at a situation and tilts it on its side so nothing appears the same. For me, they can be sweet lightbulb moments or, most of the time, they are painful wrecking balls, revealing a selfishness or unwillingness in my heart. And that’s what this was.

Since May, I have often wondered why God has called me to Africa while, at the same time it seems, He is physically wrecking me… days when I’m exhausted, in pain, when the joints in my hands will just not cooperate and I am beyond frustrated. I know He is increasing my dependence on Him and breaking my need for control, I know He is good, I just fight to see the purpose in it. The equations don’t seem to work out for good.
Africa + a weakened immune system = not good
surgery needs + unable hands = what’s the point?

Here's the kicker...
What if it’s not about me at all? What if it’s about the people around me? What if it's about the people in Africa? 
Apparently I talk about Uganda a lot. And while I was oblivious to it, God was using my story to help others recognize His call for their lives... His call to Africa.
What if the Lord’s purpose was to use my journey for those people to know their calling?
What if the single reason God asked me to quit my job & go to PA school was to get them to Africa?  
Would all of the pain of the last year be worth it if God said "This is not for you, it’s for them"? 
What if you don't even get to go back to Africa but God used you so that those people would go? 
Could you say "nevertheless, Thy will be done"? 
Am I willing to be used, no matter what the cost, so that someone else may know Jesus or hear their calling? 

Honestly, it takes way too long to answer all of these questions. My selfish heart wants the comfortable, easy, pain free life. And I struggle to think outside of my own circumstances. I get so focused on what God is trying to teach ME in situations instead of looking for the bigger picture, that maybe this isn't about ME at all. Scripture is full of stories showing how one character's journey can affect people, sometimes even generations to come. And those journeys are sometimes painful and those characters sometimes don't have it easy, but in the end, God achieves His purposes and it is good because He is good. 

How faithful is the God we serve? A Father that will stop at nothing to pursue His children. A relentless love that is bigger than our finite minds can grasp. "Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? No one is like you, O Lord; You are great, and Your name is mighty in power." Ps 77:13, Jer 10:6