We\’ve been back Stateside for 3 days now and we\’re still trying to get back in the swing of things. That\’s harder than you might think!
I\’ve got a lot of blogging to catch up on from our trip, but seeing as today is Thursday, I figured I\’d continue with my cheesy but true \”Thankful Thursday\” theme.
Most of the time I find myself thankful for the good things. That\’s easy to do, right? Who isn\’t thankful for family and friends and food and the like? But today I\’m thankful for something that I\’m usually not jumping up and down for joy over: sickness.
While in Brazil all three of us found ourselves with one illness after another and it seemed that every time one of us would start to feel on the upside, another one would get sick again. Add to that cramped living conditions, an ambitious 9.5 month old, and 95 degrees with 90% humidity and no A/C… well, it can be a bit overwhelming. Between amoebas, food poisoning, and, well, some other jungle related unpleasantness, I think we were sick 3 of the 5.5 weeks in Brazil.
As you might think, that put me a couple of times wondering, \”God, just curious but uh, did you bring us down here for the sole purpose of making us miserable?\” Of course, I would expect a reply such as \”No!\” or \”Of course not!\” but that wasn\’t what He said. The truth is that while I know that it wasn\’t the sole purpose, it was one of the reasons He had us there.
Up until now, we\’ve been on short, adrenaline packed trips that leave our heads spinning, trying to wrap our minds around all of the great and mighty things the God has done throughout the trip. This trip was our longest time out of the country since we studied in Argentina and it was full of lessons about life as a missionary.
At one point, Richard was sick in bed and Elliott had a temperature of 103.5 and climbing. I wasn\’t 100% either but I was the least sick so I found myself giving Elliott a cold bath every hour and keeping up with the last time he had Tylenol while making sure Richard stayed hydrated and trying not to make too much noise so they could both get the rest they needed. We were at least a couple of hours from any sort of medical attention so I found myself praying for wisdom and peace as we waited for E\’s fever to break and Richard to recover enough so he could study for the class he was teaching in the Indigenous Seminary, one of the primary reasons we had come.
So, here\’s the equation:00…….+
Heat + sick husband + sick baby + sick Mama + really tight living space + exhaustion – sleep – medical care = a little overwhelming
More than once I found myself saying to God, \”Ok, you promised you wouldn\’t put more on us than we can handle. I think we\’re toeing the line here!\” Or, \”Are you SURE you picked the right person for this ministry?\”
But, you know what? I\’m thankful. I\’m thankful because I learned that God is faithful. I learned that He really is the great Physician. I learned that He really does give us the strength to get through the tough times. I learned that He is patient. And I learned that no matter what, He is in control.
There were many times on this trip I doubted my capacity to handle life in the jungle. It\’s hard. It\’s hot and there are bugs that bite the FIRE out of you. It\’s void of nearly every modern convenience that I\’m accustomed to and sickness is not uncommon. But I\’m thankful because never once did I doubt that this was exactly where God had called us and that He would, without a doubt, inable us to complete the work that He had called us to.
\”I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.\” Philippians 4:13