Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pride's nemesis

Since my last post a lot has happened.

God has been stretching me and revealing things to me in unexpected ways. Sometimes good. Sometimes not so good.

One of the prayers that I had since my time on the ship was that God would humble me. When people hear that you are on the Africa Mercy they shower you with words of admiration and tell you how brave you are. I am sure that many people on the ship are brave and have sacrificied a lot to be obedient to God. I don't dispute that.

But the truth is that I don't feel brave. I feel blessed. My basic needs are met. And then some.

More recently though I have felt humbled.

I am ashamed to admit that being on this ship has at times given me a false sense of 'I'm good with God. Nothing can touch me.' Perhaps that was the first indication that God was preparing to show me something (I really should be able to read the signs by now).

Through interactions with others, God has shown me that I need Him as much as the people we are serving need Him. I am worth no more and no less than anyone else on or off the ship. I am His child and He loves me. Warts and all. I am humbled that God can use me, a sinner. Even though I judge; even though I have moments of pride, He trusts and loves me enough to allow me to be an ambassador for His Kingdom.

Last week one of the patients in the hospital experienced complications after surgery. She was fighting for her life downstairs in the ICU while I was complaining about the fact that my mango hadn't ripened. The start of another humbling experience...

We prayed for her healing; for complete restoration. We sang worship songs to her by her bedside. We held her hand. We prayed for a miracle. We had invested in this woman's life. At about 19:30 on Tuesday evening, while we were praying for her, she passed.

I didn't understand. How could God let her die when she came to the ship in search of an opportunity to improve her life? Why didn't God seize this moment to perform a miracle? Was it a lack of faith on my part? Was there something in my life that stopped God from not answering our prayers for healing?

Then it hit me.

God does not make mistakes. I am in no position to argue with our Maker. He knows what to do and when to do it. While I fixated on what I was doing wrong, God's plan was falling into place. He didn't need me to fulfil His plan but He was gracious enough to allow me to be a part of it.

I thank and praise God that He God continues to answers my prayers for humility daily.

'Therefore, as God's chosen people, Holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.' Colossians 3:12

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