A Humbling Reminder
Yesterday I woke up in a very bad mood. I don't know why, but I was. And it was HOT. And yes, I recognize I live in Uganda, and it is hot here, but normally there is a break from the heat at least in the morning. Yesterday there wasn't. It was heat the whole time, and because I woke up to the heat, I knew that the day was going to be sweltering with no break. So that's where my mood stayed as I went to the paint store to buy more paint for my mural in Kivulu. That was fine but my friend was late to meet me, and I felt so impatient as I waited.
We met up with one more friend before continuing to walk through town all the way to the slum, in the heat that I had already predicted there would be. It was unbearable, and because of my bad mood it was even MORE unbearable. I didn't want to be walking on the street with a thousand people touching me, I didn't want to deal with any of the people shouting at me as I walked, I did not have one ounce of compassion for a man with drug-induced babbling who was following us almost to the slum. Not my usual character traits.
When we arrived at the slum and I began painting the mural again, it wasn't turning into exactly what I wanted. And I realized that I didn't have the correct colours to do what I wanted, which made me even more grumpy. Needless to say, I was a horrible person to be around, and Nathan and Andrew, thanks for your grace for me yesterday. Things that never irritate me were driving me crazy and I didn't want to listen to anyone, or talk to anyone, or be around anyone, and yet I had to be. I didn't even want to go to the street program because of my mood and the heat. And all I thought was, "God, can You just send some rain???"
When I had done as much on the mural as I could, the three of us walked back to the mall to wait for my friend to drive me back somewhere for lunch, me in a cloak of gloom. When we were walking through the mall, Andrew suddenly stopped someone and shouted. They talked for a bit and then came over to me. The teenager he was talking to said, "Auntie, do you remember me???" I looked at him and said, "No, sorry I don't think so." He responded, "I'm the one you prayed for in the hospital!" and proceeded to take his hat off and show me where his skull had been broken. THIS was the boy who Andrew and I found at Mulago Hospital after the riots from the mechanics in Kivulu. It was the boy who had brain damage, could not speak or walk or feed himself when we saw him, and who we prayed for miraculous healing to happen. And GOD DID IT! I started laughing, I was so shocked. When they left, Andrew and Nathan and I sat down and Andrew and I were both speechless at his recovery. By worldly standards, this boy's life had been altered forever, and yet God planned something to happen for His glory out of something so despicable. That boy didn't even remember us praying for him in the hospital, and I will tell you, being in that room, praying over him, it felt like death was in his bed. It was horrible, and yet God worked miracles in his life. He is restored, with no complications whatsoever.
Then when I went to the cafe I love for lunch, the sky opened up and monsoon rain came pouring down. In that moment I felt God remind me, "See? I am good, and I am in charge of this world, and I am faithful IN SPITE of your selfishness." It was very humbling.
God is at work all the time, in ways we don't, can't, or even refuse to acknowledge because our eyes are so often focused on our own issues or daily grumbles. Not only is He at work, but He desperately loves the world that He created, and that He put us in to be a part of. And although it is nowhere near perfect anymore because of sin, it is still His, and we are still His, and He is still working things out for His goodness, and for our good. Sometimes it can be very easy to focus on the things that drive us crazy and the things we wish could be changed, instead of asking God where He is IN THE MIDST of those things. He never promises to give us a schedule of when exactly things will take place, but He does promise that He will work all things out for good for those who love Him.
God, help me keep my eyes focused on You, and help me to love You more.