One night after we had arrived in the village of Bulixu we hauled our children and rucksacks up to the church building. We shook out our hammocks, lit candles, and organized our belongings. Afterwards, Mark went back down to the lake to draw some water to put in the filter. The children and I never went down by the water at dark because the villagers had warned us that the snakes hunt the frogs at night by the bank and the caymans hunt the dogs and chickens on the bank. It was a lose lose situation so I never had to be told twice about it! But we needed water and Mark wasn’t a fraidy cat like me, so he went down to get the water.
Well, once Mark got down by the floating dock, he noticed our canoe had come unteathered. It had floated way out into the lake. He couldn’t believe what had happened. If he left the boat, it would make it out into the river and we would never find it or someone would steal it. There were no men around to help, and it left him with no choice but to swim out by himself and retrieve it. He says he was literally scared for his life when he dove into that dark water of the Rio Quiuni. All he could think about was the large cayman that had been showing up there at night to catch a chicken. Not to mention the snakes, piranhas, and other creepy crawlies that God loaded the Amazon Basin with at creation!
Thankfully Mark made it to the boat without becoming dinner and he was able to row back to shore.
That is one of dozens of times our lives have been in peril over the years. I have often wondered how many times Satan could go before God and accuse us because it seemed he would never have had time to work on anyone else for as much as he would bother us! I’m not kidding, it was like we were the devil’s favorite chew toy!
Of course, I never have had to go through the trials of Job, not even close. And I am truly thankful. But I do sympathize with him and I am sure you can too. I was reading the last chapters of Job the other day and meditating on how God spoke about Himself and how He addressed Job and I saw something. When it was all said and done, and Job had been sifted by the enemy, he tells God,
“I know that thou canst do every thing,”. Job 42:2a
Job had listened to God and admitted truthfully something we can take to heart….that God can do anything and everything.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could come through our trials with the same confidence? If Mark could have known he was going to live through that horrific experience of swimming in the dark river at midnight, then he may have taken the time to enjoy the coolness of the water and the quietness of the jungle.
“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” Psalms 56:3
I happen to be in the midst of some small trials in my life and I was reminded by a preacher that I am not dead, so God must still have something for me to do…..that is pretty good advice! And if God isn’t done with me, then He also hasn’t left me alone in these trials. That means I really should be able to take the time to enjoy the process.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5
Worrying about the outcome won’t allow me to enjoy God.
John talks about how Jesus was manifested to us so that our joy may be full.
“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:4
My joy in Christ will either increase or decrease depending on the amount that I am looking at Him as the reason for my existence and calling.
I know that God can do anything. I know that He is Sovereign, so instead of just “knowing”it…… I can act on it. I can get up and read and pray and serve in the joy of HIM, not my circumstances.
Trials come and go. Life has ups and downs.
But God, He is God and He doesn’t change. I can take joy in that!
“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Malachi 3:6
Dwell on circumstances? Or dwell on the One in control of the circumstances?
The choice is easy.
Until Next Time, Lord willing,
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Today’s reading: Genesis 44-45 / I Samuel 27 / Psalm 25 / Matthew 26