So I'm just going to dive right into it. We have a visitor here, Deziree, from California and we were trying to figure out what the plan was for today and I mentioned Queen Elizabeth Park, because you can’t come all the way to Uganda and not see African animals in their natural habitat. There is a part of the park where you can drive through for free but you're not always guaranteed to see animals, most often it's hit or miss. First thing this morning we had to get our oil changed since it's about a 5 hour drive and I have already driven 5,000 kilometers since September 23rd....how crazy is that!!! 5000. Well anyway. We were scheduled to leave at 8:30am but like most things in Uganda we experience delays, which is why we're always on African time.
Micheal took the car at about 7:30am and then came back with the car at 8:47am and I was like let's go!! So we all got in the car ready to go, hoping to see some glorious animals. The whole time we were driving I was praying we would see some elephants. Last year we took a team on this same safari and saw nothing so I was just like Abba, please let us see something. As we began our journey, an hour and fifteen minutes into it....we have a delay. There is this huge truck with a tractor in the back blocking the road. I mean, first reaction is like yo!! Move get out of the way! But he kept inching....forward....backward…..forward….backward....then the tractor got out. Why did the tractor get out? So the truck could move easier....at least we thought. The truck driver started doing his forward backward thing again and now he is completely blocking the road just chill'n at this point it's been about 30 minutes cars are lined up, bodas are lined up...everyone is like what the crud is going on?!?!?
Micheal starts talking to one of the guys and low and behold the reverse has failed. The poor guy was now stuck blocking the road with no way out.....we have delays I repeat, we have delays....African time for the win! To hold on to optimism I just declared that we were going to see climbing lions today and I said a prayer. Meanwhile Kiki keeps suggesting guys push the truck and there were about 20, maybe 30 guys there, men I should say, and they were just staring at her....so confused. Everyone is growing very impatient....bodas are passing underneath the truck...all kinds of crazy not safe things....then Kiki mentions "push the truck out", so Seth and Micheal get out of the car talk with all the men and in about 1 minute they all gathered together, took a position on the truck and pushed the truck out. Amazing. Boom we are back in action people, back on the road!!!
When we entered the park all we were really seeing were baboons which, to be honest are pretty common so I was like come Jesus!! Show me a lion!!! We were driving in the park for about an hour and then we saw water buffalo, antelope, monkeys, more baboons J, African kob, some other animals I don't know and a bunch of birds, no lions or elephants. Bumma. But God is good and I was like guys they are coming. So this is where it gets good. We're driving in a part of the park where there's usually no animals and then....we see a BLACK LEOPARD!!! These are extremely rare to see and this was the first time I have ever seen one! It was so beautiful and majestic! Granted it ran across the road pretty quickly but it was so sick! Then as we were driving we saw this herd of animals so we stopped and then behind them a little farther out were elephants! We even got to see a baby elephant!!! God's provision is just so amazing!
We continued to drive for a couple more hours, didn't end up seeing lions but I did learn something about Jesus and how much he loves and cares for each desire that we have. So I wanted to share that with you.
At the end of the safari, talking about the leopard we were all excited and I said how great is it that we got stuck behind that truck?! That was God answering a prayer that I had by allowing us to drive along that road at the exact time that leopard was crossing. I was praying for lions, which I've seen, but he gave me a leopard, we literally drove into an answered prayer, it wasn’t how I imagined it would be but it was an answer nonetheless. He still met the needs and desires of my heart just not in the way I expected. We had to wait and wait for that truck almost 45 minutes to an hour and even though we were growing frustrated, confused, and impatient God was moving. The answer to the problem before us seemed so simple yet we still struggled. It took the people coming together, much like our lives, our communities coming together to help each other out of a seemingly impossible situation. Isn’t that why we have community, isn’t that why Jesus had 12 disciples, to help, love, support and encourage each other towards Christ? In learning to be patient and remaining joyful, God helped us overcome one obstacle and gave us something precious. He met our expectations with greater fulfillment and we were given the gift of his provisions leaving us full of joy and gratitude for Him.
How often in life do we pray and pray, thinking that we know what is best and we pray for what we can see, limiting our expectation to our own understanding? Our expectations fail in comparison to the plans he has for our lives but we continue to doubt his voice and doubt his guidance. I prayed for a lion and gave me a rare leopard, and if I didn’t have my eyes focused on the path before me (figuratively focused on him), I would have missed it. He wants to provide for us in such a way that we are just amazed by him, his love for us, and just who he is. God is in everything and he is everywhere, the more I open up my eyes and see that displayed before me the more I begin to understand the reality of who he is. God has stepped up his game and provided for me so much in this season all because I was obedient to him and gave up some of the things that I wanted. So far, it has been one of the best decisions I have made. I don’t want to doubt him anymore; I don’t want to question his motives. He has blessed me with a sense of knowing and understanding that I wouldn’t trade for anything in this world and do you want to know the best part is? As I continue to pray with him, to walk with him, to seek him daily, and to read his word, the more I do not need validation from this world because I am made complete in him and I am so excited for the things he has planned for me!
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