Sunday, August 30, 2009

finding joy.

This past week wasn't my favorite. When you live on the ship it sometimes feels as a thousands little fingers which are constantly pressing into you. Individually they are light touches (and often very small things) that aren't very noticeable. But collectively, they can feel like an iron fist punching you in the gut.

I felt like I got punched this week. My gut still hurts a bit.

On the Africa Mercy, in the daily routine of meeting deadlines and staring at my computer, I can forget I am a missionary. It's easy to lose the vision of the work we are doing, and think this is just a job. Or just an organization. And things just have to get done. I get tunneled into thinking that's what matters.

I'm reading through Daniel and it's blowing my mind. Daniel 4:34-35 is a monologue by Nebuchadnezzar, a very wicked king of Babylon,

"And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?"

I love this prayer. It reaffirms that God is Sovereign and He will have His way. He is in control. His vision is eternal and His plans reach far beyond the scope of what our minds can begin to grasp. He will accomplish His plans. He doesn't need us to do it. He is Who matters. All else fails in comparison.

It's good to be reminded of that. It lifts my head out of the cloud and chaos of all the important things in life and resets my eyes on the eternal. It's a much nicer view.

On Thursday night, in the midst of an iron-fist-to-the-gut week, I went down to the ward to see a few patients. As I walked around and saw the patients neatly tucked into their beds, heard the laughter of a four-year-old with a burnt hand (who thought everything was funny), and snuggled with a baby with a fixed cleft lip, I saw joy. I was reminded of the privilege we have on board the Africa Mercy of loving people in the name of Jesus. I was reminded that eternities are being altered.

It was a revelation that rose above a thousand little pressures and brought me back to just Jesus. A place I'd like to remain.

No comments: