When I committed to spending far more time in the Word a few months ago, I pulled out my planner. After researching a bunch of different studies, I penned 2-4 chapters a day on every day of 2016, daily reminders to be in His Word.
I just finished working through everything the Bible says about hospitality, caring for each other, welcoming, serving, etc, and this week was supposed to start a new study.
Then this week hit.
Monday, an America-calls-crazy, Haiti-calls-demon-possessed person accused me (or a woman who was white-ish that might have been me...or maybe a demon who called themselves Madame Matt, or...) of giving him poisoned food over two years ago that cursed him.
The story is incredibly long and incredibly crazy. Needless to say, it was a rough day.
Tuesday, a crazy-to-get-to-America past student had a bit of a desperate-for-wealth-and-visa's breakdown, which resulted in threatening one of our staff members, a bunch of nasty phone calls, and threats to sue...
Seriously, I'm not making these up. Neither of these things have like EVER happened before.
Later Tuesday we had an excellent set of reminders that while we are here to minister to our students so they can minister to others, we are still VERY much so here to minister. to. our. students. There is still a lot of discipleship happening and needing to happen everyday, especially with such a large and new first year class.
Wednesday, a rather personal blow of a day--not from life here in Haiti but from Stateside--which sometimes hurts even worse. Wha? You mean even your own people let you down sometimes? Yes. Just like I let people down sometimes.
Add in visitor professors both living and eating with us, the girls all having colds, Lily breaking out in a major rash from head to toe, lots of cooking and school and driving, teaching, and this weekend is another election attempt for Haiti and a whole new set of visiting professors coming and going, and stuff is HOT politically (ie...not a great weekend to be doing daily airport runs in downtown Cap-Haitien)...
By last night, Matt and I were looking at each other like WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON???
I was laying in bed after everyone was asleep (with all the other mothers in the world), praying earnestly for my children, praying urgently for my husband (who always prays that any spiritual attacks on anyone at Emmaus must come through HIM as the leader...which is powerful except that I'm always more tempted to pray that things would be easier for him), praying for much.
I realized while praying that I had neglected my planner readings all week in the crazy.
I pulled out my planner and my Bible and was hushed.
Tuesday : "Give Thanks in Joy" Luke 17, Psalm 20.
Wednesday : "Give Thanks in Suffering" 1 Peter 4, Romans 5, Job 2.
Thursday : "Give Thanks in Certainty" Hosea 6, Job 19, Isaiah 40, Luke 1.
Friday : "Give thanks in Stress" Luke 10, Isaiah 55, Matthew 11, Psalm 23.
What an ENTIRELY different approach to these very days that I've been approaching through my circumstances!
What's my point? My point (which I was forgetting) is that God's Word, while not written to me 2000 years ago, was written FOR me.
My circumstances, however heavy, however bizarre, however painful, are NEVER beyond what God can, and wants to speak into.
Weird demon-possessed poisoning accusations? THERE IS GOD'S WORD FOR THAT. In everything give thanks!
Disappointment? Stress? Overwhelm? Struggle? Sickness? Injustice? Hurt feelings? Heart-broken? Weird cultural stuff? Loneliness? God GAVE us His WORD on that stuff.
Whatever weird or painful stuff you are going through today, it is NOT too deep for Him to understand. It is NOT too bizarre for Him to care for. It is NOT too painful for Him to speak, do you hear me? It is NOT too painful for Him to speak.
The best word I could give you this week was pray. The best word you probably could have given me this week was I'm praying!
But the best words God--the one we are praying to--gives? Totally transforming.
What a powerful reminder those chapters I penned into my calendar months ago were that He sees, He cares, He is in touch, and He has something powerful to say that changes everything, like my heart, today.
Bring it on, I'm giving thanks today because we have a God. Like. That.