Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Paradoxical Life

Since we moved from our passport country a year and a half ago, our lives have been full of upheaval, stress, great joy, great sadness, unrest, and peace. As we prepared to move overseas, we were trained on all of the above and how all of these feelings are completely normal and that it's normal to feel them all at the same time some days.

We have said from the beginning that traveling here is the most dangerous thing we do. On Christmas Eve morning we witnessed, firsthand, just how true that statement is. We were heading home to Nakuru after sending my (Stephanie) parents back to the States after their two week visit with us. We were traveling along the main highway of East Africa in Nairobi at 80 kilometers per hour, which is roughly 50 mph, when all of a sudden we saw something flying through the air in front of us. Unbeknownst to us, a man had dashed across the highway, which is extremely common here, and the car in front of us hit him going full speed. I won't give you all of the details but, needless to say, that is an image that is hard to get out of your head. Unfortunately, our children were with us and witnessed this scene as well.  We told them to close their eyes as we passed. To all you medical people, I honestly do not know how you do what you do and face death on a regular have my deep admiration and appreciation for your commitment to provide medical care when it comes at such a deep cost!

This accident has unearthed some deep, hard, truths that I would much rather not face. Our lives here on earth are uncertain. Nothing is a for sure thing. I know these things but watching a life most likely taken in the blink of an eye really makes you stop and think: Did this man have a personal relationship with Christ? Oh how I pray he did! Have I made the most of the opportunities God has given me to show His love and share His life saving gospel? Did we make the right decision in moving our family overseas? Am I enough? Can I truly handle life here? The answer to some of these questions would be, “No.” I am not enough. There are days I can't handle life here and I know I've missed opportunities to share God with people. Thankfully I serve a big God that can handle my doubts and questions, my failures and frustrations. He chooses to use me in spite of my flaws and shortcomings. I will never be enough on my own and that is where my great, big, awesome, full of grace, and loving Heavenly Father comes in. He is faithful, oh so faithful! He can still use me even when I feel unusable.

So, our paradoxical life is full of just that; paradox after paradox. Joy coupled with pain, unrest with peace, love with frustration, life with death. There are days that these things seem to be too much to bear. But God is faithful to whisper to our downtrodden souls that it isn't up to us; all of the upheaval, stress, sadness, and unrest is in His hands. We can kneel at the foot of the cross and be renewed, uplifted, encouraged, find joy, and find rest at His feet. All He asks of us is obedience and surrender....and those two requests can be an hourly struggle on some days. But friends, He is entirely worth the pain and denying of one's very worth it!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.  2 Corinthians 1:3

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:18
For we walk by faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7


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