This year has sure been unlike any others in my lifetime. It has been filled with uncertainty, unrest, unexpected, unknown and so many changes, with no definite end in sight. News of potential vaccines brings some hope, but when they will reach a country like PNG is another issue. Yet despite this, life continues with new and different challenges, for each of us, than a year ago. As I reflect on this year, I know there is much to be thankful despite the unknown.
In quarantine, I have been enjoying the devotional Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman, it seems to be quite applicable to my life today. The Nov 18th devotion was taken from Luke 7:23, "Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." Part of it says, 'When I gave myself to Him, I had hoped that my skies would always be fair, but often they are overcast with clouds and rain. But I must believe that when difficulties remain, it is that I may learn to trust Him completely - to trust and not be afraid. And it is through mental and emotional struggles that I am being trained to tutor others who are being tossed by the storm."
This is part of my recent prayers - to continue to trust and not be afraid, even when the difficulties or clouds and rain remain, to know and realize there are others in the storm too. Life does spring up in deserts and in places with little rain, and we never quite know when someone is looking to us to help encourage them through their storms. So we must always be ready, using the whatever water comes our way, to grow and flourish where we are despite the challenges and storms around us.
Later, in the same devotion, there is a quote by Freda Hanbury Allen:
"Blessed are you, O child of God, who does suffer,
And cannot understand
The reason for your pain, yet will gladly leave
Your life in His blest Hand.
Yes, blessed are you whose faith is "not offended"
By trials unexplained,
By mysteries unresolved, past understanding,
Until the goal is gained."
Leaving the unknown and the pain in God's hands, isn't always easy for me, but I know there is more to today then the pain or suffering I might feel, and there is a goal, even if not always easy to see, or there are obstacles along the way, which He has called me to. So for me, I hope to keep moving toward the goal - which for me is to be faithful to the call He has on my life to serve in PNG through my medical skills at the Hospital, until He calls me elsewhere.