When Life Becomes a Stretch…

…we feel as if we’re running up-hill, in pouring rain and against strong winds. The going is tough: there are slippery mis-steps, falls, and even a brief downhill tumble. But how do we get up and continue? How long are we to remain discouraged and beat? How to keep going? Hard questions…and we’ve been asking them periodically, especially this year, and especially the last couple of weeks. 

As we returned from our French Riviera vacation, we felt good about the break and refreshing we had just experienced, but knew a busy time was approaching with prayer weekend, conferences, and other events. Entering into this time fully energized, it was exciting to see all that is going on. But tiredness also set in, and Jen’s eyes have been a bit of a bother recently, making it harder for her to read for a long time (it may be that a change in eye drops have brought on the problem…hoping that returning to the old drops will improve the condition of her eyes). I have been keeping busy in my role of coordinating HOPE for AIDS projects internationally, as well as making sure the SIM Station here in Fada continues to function well. Jen has assisted a young girl, Evelyne, and has been wanting to meet up with her mother as there have been some difficult issues (Evelyne was kicked out of her house and her uncles house, and we found her a place to stay with our house worker). Finally, last week, the mother came with Evelyne, but at a very inconvenient time, so a plan was made to meet the next day. The next day came, and the mother gave birth to twins – only one of whom survived, and the mom was in serious condition. A few days later, the mother passed away. Life is difficult! With all the cultural stresses, dear visitors, and health issues (Silas got malaria, Marcus had another stomach bug, and Jen is still struggling with her eyes), our little family was, to say the least, a bit downcast yesterday morning. As I was sitting on the porch, with my stomach going crazy, wondering about how much of life in Burkina Faso our family can handle, I read Genesis 12:1-5, where God is calling Abram to go from his country to a country God will show him. This was an immediate reminder that God had called us here, to Fada, to Burkina Faso, and that He has and will continue to lead us. What great assurance! Sure, the first half of the day was just as difficult, but as the hours went on and we prayed as a family during lunchtime, a sense of peace and assurance started to return to our hearts and minds – and I can only call that supernatural (I was still running to the restrom frequently, Silas was still not quite over his bout of malaria, Jen’s eyes are still not so well, and a sense of sadness about Evelyne and her whole family situation was still present), and am grateful for the assurance our Lord gives us when we are slipping, tumbling, and falling on the hill we’ve been called to climb. His helping hand does not fail, and for that, we are so grateful!

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4 thoughts on “When Life Becomes a Stretch…

  1. Thanks for sharing, Marcus. We often experience these same feelings. We will be praying for God’s provision and encouragement for you guys!

  2. Thanks for sharing your heart and the battle of the enemy seems to always be nipping at our heels after a “mountain top” experience of vacation, family special times, and refreshment. God is God, God is GOOD, and God wants what is BEST for His children. I know that when you are engaged in discouragement and in the battle these words don’t seem to make sense. This does not change the character of God; He never changes and sees us through these kind of circumstances. May you continue to find a remedy or the right medication for Jen’s eyes and God’s healing touch on you and Silas. Love you, Amy Saal

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