Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"All I have Needed..."

At the elephant park outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand

I sat cross-legged on the floor in the back of the meeting hall full of international workers from many organizations working to bring transformation in both rural and urban communities through language development.  We were singing of God’s great faithfulness, and the phrase, “All I have needed thy hand hath provided” rang in my heart, causing a holy sorrow. Do I feel like God has provided everything I’ve needed, and regardless of how I feel, do I know that it is true? 
I reflected on the fact that I was at global meetings, discussing visions that are far bigger than any one of the individuals seated there.  The needs of the world pressing in on us, and yet they seemed meetable when we considered the strength of God and of his people.
I reflected on my husband who on the other side of the world was sleeping soundly, probably dreaming of phonological equations and free variation.  This man who God has given to me that together we might overcome evil with good and saturate our space with the love of Christ that grows in us as we learn to love each other.
I reflected on our baby that never saw this world and returned to Jesus in April.  This little one needed the arms of the Father to thrive, as do we all, but some of us remain on this side of heaven, where learning to rest in His healing and power to make beauty from ashes contrasts sharply with our daily realities.
I remembered the mounds of books waiting for me, filled with concepts that must be understood in order to succeed in graduating from GIAL in November.  I remembered the verse God gave me, “I will instruct you and teach you in which way you should go” when I was debating weather or not to finish this term, and how God also provided Eve, my study partner to walk with me.
I considered our return to Nigeria, the marathon after the sprint, where daily living is deluge of unbelievable victories over darkness, perseverance in the insurmountable task,  lengthy dry seasons, and joyful moments of Nigerian rhythmic life.

Maybe I struggle with comprehending that God has provided all I have needed because I consider my life my own and cannot comprehend the extent that God’s love and grace goes every day to fill me up in every way.  In thinking that this journey is for my pleasure, I make a list of the things that will fulfill me, whereas if I better understood this journey of following Christ, I would remember that a flood of contentment comes in the presence of the Teacher, who fills everything in every way.  He gives me exactly what I need right now to be the most joyful me possible!  That is true, no matter what I feel like.

“Why do you worry about these things?  The Father knows what you need.” -Jesus  

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