Do you know how triumphant and big our God is? Do you know that Satan will do almost anything to make you believe that our God is weak? I once heard this quote that was something along the lines of “if you are walking in the will of the Lord, Satan will try to make you miserable while you do it.” You know what? This couldn’t be truer. Since being in Uganda I have had so many good things happen like meeting Martha and learning how we can fight sickle cell anemia, along with things that have been painful and exhausting. For instance both of my flights were delayed. This really isn’t a big deal but it does at first make you think, “seriously?, now I have to hang around this airport even longer…”. Then upon arriving in Uganda the radiator in our car was cracked and needed to be replaced. The damage was so bad that we could only drive about 20 kilometers before we had to pull over and pour more water into it. To get it fixed we had to wait about 3 hours just to get to the mechanic, pay him to find the part and have him fix it. Situations like this are just little stumbling blocks that try to make us miserable. I had just traveled 25 hours with little sleep and all these little things were going wrong. Things in Uganda are not always easy and that is why community is so important. Here in Rukungiri we have an amazing community of people who love us so much and take care of us! These people truly are a blessing and they are family.
To continue…in Rukungiri I have had a cold, every single day and because of the time change I have not been getting good sleep at all. Again, this is not a big deal but it does distract you because it is an inconvenience. Then here is the best part. Yesterday Seth and I were riding on the motorcycle to get lunch after church. We were riding in town and there was another man on a motorcycle in front of us who was just kind of sitting in the road. He did not indicate if he was going left or right, then low and behold he went right, directly in front of us. I saw what was about to happen, grabbed on tight, closed my eyes and said “oh God”. We collided. Luckily Seth and I made it out with little injuries and the bike had minor cosmetic problems that were easily fixed. When we collided the other bike scrapped Seth’s hand and his shin hit somewhere else on the bike. For me, the mans helmet hit my face right in my left eye and I wasn’t wearing a helmet so now I am sporting a black eye, and my knee also collided with the bike and it is pretty bruised up. The other guy unfortunately got his foot pinned by the bike and it ended up taking off all of the skin on his right heel, down to the bone. They took him directly to the hospital and he is going to make a full recovery and he is actually a really nice guy with a loving family!
We were all so lucky to have not been injured worse than that and here is where the joy comes in. Seth and I were talking about the accident later that day and he said God protected us today, every morning I wake up and pray for protection and he was with us. This is such a huge confirmation for me that God is in every moment of every day and no matter what Satan throws our way….God is bigger and it won’t matter. When you are walking in the will of the Lord with a fully surrendered heart Satan will fight his hardest to make you miserable. For me, it had the reverse effect. The accident showed me how desperate Satan is and how he is fighting a losing battle. We as Christians get to wave a banner of victory, because we are no longer slaves to sin or victims to Satan’s attacks. Yesterday we were able to rejoice in God’s protection and give him all of the glory. If Seth and I didn’t have such a strong and confident faith in Christ, we could have easily sat and questioned God, “why have you called us to do your will Lord?, then to have us be put in harms way like that..”, but that is the farthest thing from our minds.
Satan’s attempts to make us miserable should only show us that we are walking in the will of the Lord. They are there to deter us and challenge us to walk away from God because how could a God who loves us so much allow so many bad things to happen? This is the lie that Satan wants us all to believe. That God wants to see us suffer and that could not be any farther from the truth. Lamentations tell us, “for he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.” (3:23). God definitely allows things to happen and he could have prevented that yesterday but he didn’t. That event encouraged Seth and I both. We both left thanking God for his protection and it confirmed to us that no matter what, God is with us and that means so much more than any pain or suffering we might experience for Him. God allows us to become miserable because he is planning to reveal something even bigger through us.
“And the Glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together….” Isaiah 40:5a.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” - Romans 8:28
So after all of this…am I actually miserable? The answer is no, because in every situation I am choosing joy. Let’s be real though, Satan is trying pretty hard and he is putting up a good fight, but I am choosing to see God’s miracles in the mess of this life and I will not allow Satan’s lies to convince me otherwise. Living in God’s truth has transformed my life, mind and heart. Every day I am choosing to operate out of fullness and I am living loved.