I don’t know about anyone else, but in the harder more stressful times in life are when I feel closest with Jesus. It’s something I’ve really come to see about myself this summer; my devotion to my relationship with The Lord falters when times are easy and joyful and fun. I stop seeking him and praying to him and giving it all to him. I stop depending on him and start relying on myself, falling into laziness and comfortable patterns because I can seemingly handle everything.
But I’m wrong. How was I not realizing that this was exactly the same behavior that leads to those rough times where seeking Jesus doesn’t seem like an option, but the only option?! I want to have the mindset where I go to him first no matter what peak or valley I may be in. I want to be consistent in my pursuit not just when the going gets tough.
How lucky are we that God is constantly pursuing us and we did NOTHING to deserve it? Doesn’t he deserve the same steadfast effort on our end? God is so good to us all the time, unwaveringly there constantly wanting to know us and enter into our lives.
Recently with this disconnect from God has come the feeling of restlessness in my life and unfulfillment. In 26 days I leave Seattle for a mission trip to Uganda, and to say the excitement has me ready to burst with joy is an understatement. Africa has been a place I’ve felt drawn for so long. As a kid when asked where outside of the U.S. I would go if I could I’d always say Africa. I never had a specific reason as to why or the specific country of Uganda, but now looking back I see how God started putting this place on my heart.
When I think of Uganda I think of tangible joy. To say I’ve been obsessed with learning and seeing all I can about this stunning nation before I go is again a huge understatement! I already feel like part of my heart lives with the sweet people of Uganda and I’ve never even been there-it’s crazy! I don’t exactly know what to make of my draw to this nation and can only pray for clarity when I get there! For the past year whenever I pray I always start of simply praying that God’s will be done in my life, becasuse hello his plans are SO MUCH BETTER than my own! I truly feel like when God entered into my life he shattered my ideas of what life and the goals I had were and rearranged the pieces to create desires that were more for my life and more wonderous than I ever could have imagined. I can’t help but think Uganda and the desire to simply love others is connected.
Once I knew statistics and saw the faces of these sweet beautiful children and people of Uganda I realized how much of a blissfully ignorant life I was living not giving nearly enough thought to the rest of God’s children I share this earth with. My blissful ignorance aids others suffering by keeping myself and others unaware truly of these conditions others around the world face that WE CAN HELP! We can’t fix all the worlds problems, we’re just humans-but we can enter in to the trials and love and give it our best shot, and when we fall short give it to God.
Did you know half the nation of Uganda is under the age of 15? Did you know in Uganda there is 1 doctor for every 100,000 people? In Uganda 30% of households are considered food unstable (not knowing where or when they’ll find/get their next meal). One third of children under five are stunted due to malnutrition and the constant under nutrition problem the country faces. Under nutrition of children ages five or younger accounts for 60% of deaths. There is still an active war in Northern Uganda displacing thousands and forcing children to become rebel soldiers (young boys forced to kill their families among others) and sex workers (young girls forced into prostitution and sex work). Government corruption keeps great laws from reaching implementative effectiveness. And you know what? This is just one beautiful country that needs a little extra love and we have a whole planet full of them. These people could be us. They did nothing to be born into economic instability and war torn areas.
These people like you and I are God’s children. Whether across the world or across the street they’re our neighbors. Imagined if God simply ignored our own suffering how lost we’d be? And most of us face trials with a cozy place to sleep at night, three meals a day, and a family to support you. Imagine being a seven year old little girl responsible for your siblings living without running water or electricity-that is a reality for many. As christians we strive to show God our love, gratitude, thanksgiving, obedience, etc. yet he is constantly DEMANDING we care for the least of them (“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” Matthew 25:40 NIV)
This post was super random, just a little bit of the disconnect and seeking of Jesus and the hope for Uganda and entering into others lives and all the crazy exciting wait I have before I leave!