Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Nailed It!

Have you ever had one of those days where you just really needed to hear from God? Nothing crisis level, but more than just the usual day to day needing to hear from God?

Today was one of those days...

Yes, that's an empty freezer. Why? The fridge stopped working. The repairman will come in his own timing... today? Tomorrow? Who knows. I keep reminding myself that most people here do not even have a fridge. I really have no room to whine.

Yes, that means I have been cooking thawed out meat today. As I am cooking all this meat, I am reminded that most of the people in this country rarely eat meat because they cannot afford it. I really should be thankful that we have meat at all and that it can be rescued from ruin.

The broken fridge also means I need to find creative ways to use up our milk, like making chia... hot milk tea... for breakfast. (Recipe HERE.)

So I was making the chia this morning, and decided to pour it into a plastic jug to make it easier to pour through a strainer. And what happens?

The jug disintegrated into a crumpled wad. With quick reflexes and an empty pitcher sitting conveniently on the counter, only a small mess and lightly toasted fingers were the result. The chia was saved.

The same day the fridge broke, the well water pump broke. And that happened right on the heels of having one of those "I Am Not There, I Am Here" moments. Saddened by bad news from family in the States, my emotions are a little sensitive.

And let's not mention the medical needs I am dealing with right now. They are so close to being resolved, but trying to catch the doctor when she isn't attending to patients with more pressing medical needs is tough.

And right now, I just really have so much to do. We are preparing to start a new church, I am training the children's class teacher, I am preparing new children's ministry curricula, I am preparing to start a new year of homeschooling my children, and... and... wow... this list just exhausts me.

(And as I type this... the tire on the car was just discovered almost flat.)

"Lord, I really, really... need to hear from you."

So after the meat was cooked, breakfast was eaten, dishes were done, the counter was cleaned up, clothes ironed for those who were waiting on them, shower taken, dressed for the day... and the ox was somewhat out of the ditch, I finally sat down to do my devotions. I felt so behind schedule... my routine interrupted. But I was thrilled to finally sit down and be Mary at His feet. My heart was tender... waiting... needing... pleading. It was prepared to seek Him because I was at the end of, well... the end of "me."

Ezra 9:8  "And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage."

I'll be honest. The above verse isn't where I was expecting to find comfort or encouragement. But, boy oh boy... it was exactly what I needed. The story line here:

Some of the Israelites were rebuilding the temple. God had sent Israel into captivity, but was showing them grace and mercy by allowing them this moment to revive. It was a little space of grace, a little time of refreshing and refocusing. A moment of God using them. How were the children of Israel showing their gratitude? They were defiling themselves through a lack of separation.

Ezra, however, was brokenhearted. He knew the treasure this moment of grace was. God had given them a "nail in this holy place."

As I look around me where I am, I can complain about the difficulties. Or I can look at the "nail" God has placed in our hands. Why would God even use the Israelites in building? Grace. Why would God use us here in this country... as wicked and selfish and unthankful as I can be? Grace. God allowed Ezra to build and Ezra was grateful for every nail, every block, every curtain, every basin, every role he played in the process. If God let's us take part in His ministry, even something as small as placing one nail, He has shown us great grace.

The difficulties try to swarm. But as I look at the "nail" in my hand, I am revived. He is using me for His glory.

"Lord, help me keep my eyes on the "nail" and my heart fixed upon You.
Please do not let the difficulties rob me of my joy in Your ministry. Teach me what you want me to learn. Your grace is enough... it is more than enough."

by Charity, Southern Asia


Senkyoushi said...

Thank you!

Lou Ann Keiser said...

Why is it that we women don't like surprises--especially the kind that completely disrupt a day or two? For me, it's been a whole lifetime trying to learn to roll with the punches and make the best of the crazy immediate. Thank you for your lovely application of the nail. Wonderful post!

Steve Dwire said...

Charity, your post puts a real perspective on this other post I just discovered from Michael Hyatt: I'll be sharing your post and his with Edify Hub's readers next week.

Thank you so much for giving folks a very real peek into your life as a missionary.

Amy Meyers said...

Those are rough times. Hugs from Africa! We've often felt like trouble comes in threes, but it seems like it's coming in triple threes for you! :/