Friday, May 1, 2020

Mountains and Valleys

In 2016, I was serving in Mozambique and looking forward to my 40th birthday at the end of the year. 

For a long time I had wanted to climb Africa’s highest point, Mt. Kilimanjaro in neighboring Tanzania, and I thought my 40th birthday would be the perfect time to do it!

After all the plans were made, I began to have non-stop pain in my head. The pain continued, my birthday came and went, and I cancelled the plans to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. 

I returned to the US at the end of 2016, and it has been almost 4 years now in this painful valley. I have prayed and fasted and done countless medical tests and treatments.

Along with the physical pain, comes the frustration of not being able to “do” very much. Of course, I can still “be” for Christ, which is my true and unchanging identity, not what I do or where I go. I am loved by God, and I want to love God and people no matter where I am or what I am doing. This does not change.

But I cry out to God, “use me!” along with the important prayer connected to this request, “make me usable.” 

And God responds to me by saying...“I am.”

Whether I understand it or not, the great I AM has assured me that He is both making me usable and using me in the valley.

I thank God for this unique and precious time to love and be loved by my family, my friends, and my local church.

Walking side by side with Jesus in our valleys, we can grow in faith, grace, patience, obedience, perseverance, and our ability to be compassionate and to comfort others with the comfort we have received. 

As difficult as it is in our valleys, I believe we can be blessed in them, and we can be a blessing to others because of them. 

God said..."I AM" 
Exodus 3:14