trusting . resting . following

Disappointing Days

January 13, 2012
I'm not sure what happened Wednesday.   Plans just sort of fizzled into nothing.  The church at Igekemaja planned an afternoon workday at the church (to cut grass, pull weeds, etc.)  This church has shrunk quite a bit recently in attendance.  I thought I would go and just work alongside the believers for the afternoon since it didn't sound like anyone would be going out on our regular visitation time.

During announcements on Sunday we were told to come at 3pm.  Coming from 40min away I left at 2, you never know what kind of traffic you'll run into.  I arrived at 2:50 to an empty church.  As soon as I got there I kicked myself for my punctuality.  It's hard to unlearn something that has been drilled into you since childhood- "It's shameful to be late, you're showing a lack of respect and consideration to others when you are."  True for American culture; not true here.

I waited and debated who I should go visit while I waited.  I had come in my work clothes, and it's not very common and even a bit shameful to go visit someone in a t-shirt, old jean skirt, and a baseball cap.  I couldn't decide about the visiting, so I waited some more.  3:30 came and went.  I prayed for the church and all the struggles it's going through now.  By 3:50 I just couldn't make myself wait any longer.  I had walked around the property and realized I wouldn't be much help in the labor any way.  I didn't bring a hoe or scythe to cut grass.  I decided it was to better to go visiting.

There was one family that I hadn't seen in church for quite awhile.  I have a bit of a history with them and figured they wouldn't care if I came in my grubby clothes.  Since they live right along the road, I drove off and headed to their hut, when I came across another obstacle.  The road is being worked on and tractors were going up and down the road on the spot I needed to get off and park.  With the fresh dirt piles everywhere there was no place for me to get off the road.

That was it.  I'd had enough.  I gave up and drove home.

I know it's not reasonable to expect great victory every day of ministry.  Some days will be disappointing, because of both circumstances and personal choices. But on those days disappointing days I go home and struggle.  What should I have done differently?  Had I spent adequate time in prayer?  Was I letting the Spirit control me or my flesh?

The ironic thing in the whole story is that I drove past Bill Brouwer.  As I was heading home, he was heading out to Igekemaja!  If I had just waited a little longer at the church.  If I had just made myself show up 45 minutes late.  If, if, if...

By faith I trust that my God can redeem disappointing days for His purposes and glory!

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