Into the Light

Last time I talked about being in the darkness. The darkness is often where our lives are transformed. Muscle isn't built by sitting on the couch and faith isn't strengthed where it is easy.
It came to my mind yesterday of an occurrence that happened in Ethiopia that I'd rather have forgotten. But I was complaining about something when I suddenly remembered the second night in Alaba, Ethiopia and waking up to the terrorized cries of Kandace. I was exhausted so I tried to wake up enough to see if it was anything worth waking up for. She was lying beside of me and was literally vibrating. It was a fog as I heard Dad run up to the bed. That's when I heard the tell-tale sound of vomiting. At that moment I wanted to die. I was more angry about my circumstances than I think I had ever been. Being sick is one thing in America, but when you are in a foreign country, away from home, with no running water and only 13 years old it is different. That was darkness. I'll never forget getting out of the bed and sleeping on the twin bed with Dad. I cried. Kandace was miserable and sick and it was only day two. It couldn't be happening. I prayed with all of my soul. I prayed that we would make it to daylight. I remember glancing at the clock and being shocked when I saw it said 11:30pm. We hadn't been asleep for two hours when Kandace got sick. It was going to be a long night. And it was. Right before she got sick the second time I ran out the door and stood outside. I inhaled the aroma of Africa and listened to my Daddy pray in the room behind me. I selfishly began to think about how Dad and I both were going to be sick too. Satan attacked my mind with horrifying fears that it would be like it was in 2009 when Dad got sick. It was happening again. It's over. 9 more days of this. I went to bed and fell into a fitful sleep. Kandace had a nightmare around 4:30. The Muslim Crier began being played over the loudspeakers. It seemed that all of Alaba could here the eerie sound of a Muslim praying to Allah. It broke my heart. If it wasn't already, it did then. I lay there listening to it and praying for daylight. Just a little light. A few moments later I glanced at the window and I saw the hazy morning light. Kandace woke up weak, but improved. I'll never forget the words she told Daddy. There was a look on her face I'd never seen on her as the sunlight shown through the curtain. She said weakly, "Hey Daddy, last night.... I felt God."

Every tear was worth going to Ethiopia. People may wonder why you would put yourself through that. It is hard, but I feel God there like I never have here. We have it too easy. I wouldn't trade those hard times for anything because that is when God wrapped His arms around me tightest. We had a mission there... to tell hundreds of children about Jesus' love.

So, I told you that story so that you would see an experience I've had in the dark. You've had them too. Whether it was when you were sick or when you were just broken down. Maybe it was when a family member was going through something. Or it could be just not knowing. Not knowing God's plan. That is the dark.

Well, there is morning. The sun has to rise. Since my last post the Lord has been showing me things and encouraging me. I feel like He just wants me to have to trust Him. When I finally let go, He can work. It's like when I was a kid and I always got my necklaces in a knot. I would work on getting them untangled constantly but I just made it worse. Mom would ask if she could help, but I was determined to do it myself! She would just shrug and walk off. Finally, I would give up. I would take it to her but then I'd keep trying to untangle it while she was working on it too. That didn't work either! I had to let go completely. When I did, she always fixed it. It's the same with life. Sometimes you have to let go. I love something my Dad said. I think that we were in Ethiopia when he said it. He said, "If you hold life loosely, it won't hurt so much when it is jerked at."

Put your life in Jesus' hands. But you can't forget one more thing... you must LIVE FOR HIM. Many say they trust Him but where is the fruit to prove it? Live in a way that shows that your life is in His hands. We will go through darkness but Hallelujah we will come into the light! The fact is, Jesus is the Light, so if you're with Him, you're never in utter darkness.


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