Friday, January 08, 2010

On faith and rain


Kenya has had a severe drought for the past several years. It was estimated earlier this year that about 30% of the food supply might be lost due to lack of rain. Most Kenyans rely on their own personal garden or shamba for food. Without rain the crops will not survive and they will not have food to eat. The expected November rains were short this year and not enough to replenish the shambas with life sustaining water as well as drinking water supplies. We have had several "running water -less " days since we arrived in Kijabe. We the day before Christmas something amazing happened. The heavens opened and it began to rain. A short storm at first then the rain started and didn't stop! For about 10 days or so we had rain every day. Long soaking rains. The dry, brown, crunchy grass has be revived to a lush green and everything is alive and blooming. We had so much rain, however, that in some parts of Kenya they experienced flooding. We are thankful for this rain that so many have been praying would come for so long. We were so excited when the rain started that the kids geared up and went outside to play in it!

I was reading a novel the other day (something I do every day actually since we don't have a TV I now spend any leisure time curled up with a good book) and I came across a passage that struck me: "Faith by it's very nature must be tried . . . What God does with our faith must be something like workouts. He see to it that our faith gets pushed and pulled, stretched and pounded, taken to it's limits so it's limits can expand. If it doesn't get exercised it becomes like a weak muscle that fails us when we need it" it goes on to read " 'Would you agree that we must be willing to thank God for every trial of our faith, no matter how severe, for the greather strength it produces?' the response 'I'm perfectly willing to say it, but I'm continually unable to do it'.

I just loved this. I am learning this lesson now. I have to strech my faith by stepping outside my comfort zone of "home" (and everything that encompasses) to allow room in my heart for further dependence on God and less dependence on myself. It's not always easy - in fact some times I feel like digging my heels in! - but it is good. Really, really good. I look back at other seasons of growth in my life and it is almost always when I've stepped out and put myself in a vulnerable or unfamiliar position and came out the other side with a stronger faith in the One who I followed. It is comforting to know that this is a time of growth and deepening of faith. I yearn for a stronger faith and it feels nice to think that one day I will look back on this time and be able to see how pivotal it was in my journey of faith. Make no mistake, it is not easy. I am renegotiating everything I now about how to "do" life (parenting, marriage, housekeeping, church, friendship, family . . . everything really). In the process I'm praying "more of You and less of me".

I'm hoping Rhett will accept my request for "guest blogging" sometime soon since many of you may be wondering what the heck we are doing here besides taking pictures our kids! This blog is mostly from my perspective of a missionary wife and mother of three small children hence the lack of information on what is going on in the hospital most days and nights that I'm not a part of. Be assured Rhett is up to his eyeballs in the crazy transition of practicing medicine at a world renowned academic hospital in the U.S. to a comparatively smallish teaching hospital in Africa. I don't know if it my place to comment much on that process since I am just a spectator and supporter so hopefully you will hear more about his work and ministry at the hospital soon!
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3 comments:

Debra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debra said...

Megan,

Sorry about the deleted post. I meant to replace it immediately but got distracted. I so appreciate your comments about faith and your honesty about the experience in a new place and new world. You are right...a guest post by Rhett would be nice - hint, hint- so we can try to see the hospital and what he is experiencing as a physician in a new place in a new world. Thanks so much for going...and for sharing...debra (and the rest of the hoosier clan)

Daniel said...

Hi Megan,
i am a friend of Rhett's from UAB and also a newly board certified ID specialist. Thanks for sharing, your thoughts were very relevant to me and were piercing as i have struggled for a while with trusting in god enough to move to Africa fulltime like you guys are doing but being stopped by fear and I do feel like it is my family's calling to do this as well. I have been working in africa on short term projects and now am finishing my ID fellowship in June and figuring out the next step. Thanks for your example and my family is praying for y'all.

Daniel Park