One day I followed my husband and another preacher down the streets of a small town in the Amazon while they visited with different church members. I didn’t speak much Portuguese at the time, but I could get by more or less. I did a lot of head bobbing and smiling that day as I walked by little huts where folks were selling juice in a bag or fish hanging from their bicycle handlebars.
It seemed to me we had walked for miles in the hot sun. My sundress had helped to keep me cool enough, but by that point my feet were sweating in the new little plastic sandals I had worn. Pretty soon I had some big blisters and I didn’t want to take another step. Mark and the preacher kept walking and visiting and I trailed further and further behind.
I am sure I looked pretty silly to those people living in that town. I was used to everyone staring at my white skin and blond hair, but now here my fat American frame went hobbling down their street in the wrong shoes, it must have been quite a sight to behold.
As we walked near a little water way where there were some shade trees I decided to remove my shoes and go the rest of the way barefoot. The rocky warm pavement felt so nice on my aching feet. Several people looked at me like I had grown two heads, but I just smiled and bobbed my head. I didn’t care who stared because the pain was eased by the removal of those plastic sandals and that was enough for me.
Shortly the men finished up their visits and the other pastor turned to call me over so we could go to their house for lunch. I will never forget the horror on his face as he noticed I was walking barefoot in some sand by the road. He quickly explained to my husband that I should immediately put my shoes back on. Mark gave me the “husband” glare like I was a moron and told me to put the shoes back on. Being the wonderful submissive wife I was (am) I said, “no, absolutely not.” I got a stronger glare and returned one of my own. The pastor began speaking so fast that I understood nothing but from the context of his gestures pointing at the ground and my blistered feet while shaking his head I could tell he wanted me to put the sandals back on asap.
Do you know what it is like to put a shoe back on over blisters? I think all of us women just cringed thinking about it because we DO KNOW how badly it burns and hurts. Would you believe I had to walk several blocks with those plastic sandals sticking to my wounds? I was Christian cussing under my breath, let me just tell you!
Later, once Mark and I were back in our room and alone, I took a cool rag and lay it over my feet. I winced and listened as Mark explained to me what the man had said. Apparently there were a myriad of parasites that live in the sand and dirty street that would have caused me a LOT of harm had I come in contact with them. Years later I dug a big worm and hundreds of eggs out of my daughters foot and finally understood what the ruckus was about and trust me, that pastor was seriously trying to help me!
The preacher felt bad that my feet were hurting and even had offered to purchase or borrow other shoes for me but he wasn’t going to allow me to walk one second more without covering the soles of my feet.
That man had grown up in the Amazon. He knew the dangers and he wanted to protect me, even though it meant I was going to hurt in the process.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Not everything we go through down here on this earth is pleasant is it? But I’ve learned that dwelling in the Scripture and looking at life through It’s wisdom sure does avail me much comfort as I go through times of suffering. A Christian never suffers without a cause. It may be because of chastisement or it may be a product of growing our faith, but we are too important, too loved and too cherished for God to let us dangle over the bed of the hot coals of suffering without a purpose. I Peter 5:7….God cares about us and He has a purpose.
And that purpose is always working together with something that God is doing for our good or the good of another. The perfect example of that is Christ. He suffered it ALL for OUR good.
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Hebrews 2:9
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
If you have got blisters on the edges of your soul and the thought of taking another step through your trial seems impossible, ask God for His divine help because you are willing to go through whatever He may ask.
He may just simply be protecting us from a greater evil the devil has laid up in store for us.
Can’t we just trust God to know what He is doing?
Until Next Time, Lord willing,
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Today’s reading: Leviticus 7 / II Kings 11-12 / Psalm 63 / Hebrews 11