Oftentimes I'm confused living in this foreign land.The culture (way of thinking and doing things) is so different than what I'm used to... even after almost 9 years of living here!
My ministry involves getting very close to folks in long-term and intimate relationships, as we share in one another's homes. Sometimes I feel like everything is a mystery or like I'm moving in a fog.
Am I truly on target with what God wants me to do?
Am I truly living in a Christ-like manner as I interact with the "neighbors" to whom God has connected me?
One day, during a visit with one of my friends in the Matunda area, I kept thinking of the word "mystery". It seemed to almost sum up my 6-year relationship with this person.
That evening I read the following excerpt. God's timing is so very amazing and accurate!
“God is trustworthy even when we can’t see, feel, or hear him. He guides us in decisions and promises never to leave us, even when his guidance takes us into the fog, mystery, and suffering. He is there in the fog, he is active, and he is fulfilling his glorious purposes. Our role is to trust - even if it takes 10 years.”
“Sooner or later, often later, the fog slowly lifts. Things begin to make sense. Understanding replaces confusion. Confidence replaces doubt. Belonging replaces a sense of abandonment. Hope returns. God was there all along, working actively, not only on your behalf but in ways that enrich the many other servants he loves. The fog obscures his presence and his purposes, but when it finally clears, we realize that God has kept all his promises to us (Joshua 21:45). And on those occasions when his people go to their graves with pieces of their past still shrouded in fog, he remains the loving, faithful God worthy of their trust even though the fog never lifted. While not desired, walking in mystery shouldn’t be feared; God, though not visible or audible, walks by our side, and the walk is always worthwhile for the patient, faithful servant.”
- Duane Elmer (Cross-Cultural Servanthood)
“His legacy had been a few relationships and a lot of fog.”
-Elmer's summary of a missionary that lived in a fog for 10 years, as he closely related with people in a foreign culture. [Elmer goes into detail recounting this man's story in the book.]
Wow, could the same thing be said about me as I approach the 9-year mark in Kenya?
"Deb's legacy was a few close relationships and a lot of fog."
Two evenings later, as I stepped outside to brush my teeth, I happened to look up at the full moon. In front of it was sort of a haze (or a fog). But regardless of the fog, the moon shone so very brightly behind it. Immediately tears came to my eyes, as I contemplated that God is still shining brightly in all his glory - in spite of the mysterious fog that I sometimes feel like I’m surrounded by!
I believe that as I persevere in seeking God's face, His glory will in fact shine through my life!
"Please pray that I will do what the Lord wants me to do, not what I want to do. That could be two different things!"
-Chuck McKeag, my mom's neighbor (in rehab therapy for over two months after a massive heart attack)
I echo Chuck's sentiments entirely!
"God's purpose in the cloud is to simplify our belief until our relationship to Him is exactly that of a child. Is the relationship between myself and God getting simpler than ever it has been?"
Thanks for praying for me in this regard!