Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? – Matt 6:25-27
In less than two months, Christopher and I plan to head to Kampala where we will await the arrival of our second child. Although Christopher will come and go depending on the mission’s needs, Carmel and I plan to stay put until the end of May. We mostly pass through the city running errands in a frenzy and engines of the kaleidoscope of faces on the mission. Last week we found out that the lodging we had arranged was no longer available. We’re looking down the barrel at six weeks in Kampala, not yet knowing where to lay our heads.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all of your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. – 1 Pet 5:6-7
When we arrived in 2012, one of my explicit responsibilities was to assist with the finances for the station. Gradually over the years, the scope of my work and responsibility has increased. This week we began the first official financial audit ever conducted by our mission in its 16 years of existence. Albeit by my own instigation and suggestion, it is a test of my work and I have no illusions of perfection.
Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. – Matt 11:28-30
I have begun this paragraph countless times. The proverbial wastebasket is filled with discarded beginnings. When the heart is weary, it is difficult to imagine rest before the finality of the grave. I wake with the thought that I should get up. I sleep with dreams of running up a hill with no peak. Is true rest only a hope realized with our last breath? Does it not also inherently provide refreshment? Is it not a prelude to encouragement, the rising to one’s feet ready for the next portion of the race? Has loving God and neighbor more than self ever been easy or light? And yet, in the midst of roiling emotions and a to-do list that mounts higher than the time to complete it, I find delight unexpectedly. God does not leave our souls in the dark night. He sees our needs more clearly than we can even know them ourselves. He feeds us, he clothes us, and he gives us rest. Here. He provides our daily bread, builds the roof over our heads, and spurs us on to works that He then makes good. All here. In this life, in this now. Because He values us, because He cares for us, because He is gentle and lowly in heart. Because it is truly He that bears the burden.