witch doctor comes for chai…

This has been quite an interesting week, and even as I type those words I realize just how inadequate they are to truly express just how “interesting” this week has been.

I met a witch doctor. I don’t think I ever thought I would meet a witch doctor. It’s one of those things that happens to other people in far off lands…you know? Well, hello Lori…you ARE in a “far off” land, right? I think I often forget I’m living this life that only happens in movies or novels. I mean…I go to bed listening to the sounds of hyenas, zebras, elephants, and sometimes “cats”. I wake up to the most amazing view I’ve ever seen that stretches for miles and miles and miles. I live amongst  a people who live in huts made of dung, mud, and sticks…a people who most individuals would only ever read about. I get to love a people who are hungry for pure love…and I get to love them! I get to teach sweet children the beauty of music. I get to teach some of the most amazing women I have ever met how to read! Women who are so strong…a quiet and meek strength that is humbling to encounter. I…I….I get to….

I don’t always appreciate it. I sometimes find myself bemoaning my circumstances. I throw a pity party that I invite myself to…and, unfortunately, I end up attending. I get caught up in the things that I left behind…longing after those things I don’t have instead of reveling in the most amazing things I have been blessed with currently.

God has been reminding me of something I seem to forget quite often: He is sovereign. The pages of Scripture are full of this truth. One passage in particular keeps “haunting” me: Daniel 4:29-37

“29At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, 32 and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” 33Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws.

34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,

for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”

36At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. 37Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.”

Verse 35 really gets me:

35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”

How many times have I said to God, “What have you done?” “Why have you done this?” “I don’t understand, please tell me why?!?” But I can’t do that…I can’t ask Him those things. He is God. He is more majestic than I can even imagine, and “He does according to His will among the host of Heaven and among the inhabitants of the Earth..” So, I guess there are several reactions:

1. I could be angry? I mean, I could be so upset that I don’t have a choice in many ways..right?

or

2. I could be comforted. I can rest in the assurance of God’s complete control over all the things of Heaven and Earth. AND “None can stay His hand.” So, while so many may try to “foil” God’s plans…they cannot! And most especially when things don’t seem to be as I might like…when most precious things have been stripped away from me…I know it is not out of God’s will; He has NOT forgotten me. He has NOT forgotten YOU! Isn’t that wonderful!?

Nebucadnezzar had lost all reason..he was an animal..living amongst animals…eating as an animal. BUT God hadn’t forgotten him. God restored Him by His sovereign choice!

The sacrifices are worth it…they are so incredibly hard, but they are worth it. I also think of Christ who sacrificed the glories of Heaven to live here on Earth with us! That He must have been homesick is an understatement, no? But He knew the necessity of it all…He sacrificed it all with great joy in His heart…was it always easy? No. Did He ever ask for another way? Yes. But He also knew His Father’s will had to be done! He knew His Father was sovereign, so the pain could be endured because it was as His Father willed.

Is not our purpose in life, as Christians, to bring glory to the Father? Do we not bring glory to the Father as we become more and more like Christ? So shouldn’t we sacrifice it all for the sake of the Father?

I met a witch doctor this week, I attended a baby shower like no other this week, I spent time with some amazing women this week, I sang praises to our King with a lovely young girl in need of pure love, I fell asleep to the sounds of wild animals, I saw baboons run through the yard, and I reconnected with a friend in desperate need of salvation. All in a week…an amazing week full of encounters and experiences I would have never had if I gave into the notion that I am in control of my life; that I deserve something different than God has chosen for me. I deserve nothing. I am owed nothing. The Creator has given me a beautiful life to live for His glory!

Are you resting in the security of His sovereignty, or do you think God owes you something more, different than He has chosen for you? Whom do you serve?

Joshua 24:15

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

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