October 21, 2008

My Weakness... is enough

In my smallness, I will praise Him
In my weakness and my pain
I will praise Him

Whom have I in heaven, but You?
And ya know, beside You I desire nothing on earth.
My body and my resolve may fail,
but You are the strength of Kathy,
and all I want or need forever. (from Psalm 37)

I sat heavily into the worn, padded seat on the small bus heading into the saddest area of Ndola, Zambia. The before lively group of teenage Zambians grew increasingly quiet, as it seemed the weight of the world descended in their minds.

Those of us with whiter faces were taking it all in, but not really understanding. Brian noticed my cluelessness and explained, “This is one of our graveyards. It is full now, and more graveyards are being developed to bury all our dead.”

I’d never heard of a shortage of graveyards before. What was I doing there, anyway? What did I have to offer this hurting people? Just hours before we had worshipped with them, with their music, with their peers, learning their songs, trying to dance their dances, and now I sat and grieved with them.

It seemed the people on the dirt road felt the heaviness, too, as they plodded along in their Zambian walking rhythm. I must not have looked closely, because I don’t remember seeing graves, just a large plot of earth with no buildings. Maybe I was expecting bleached-white headstones in perfect rows, like I’d seen in military cemeteries.

I told Brian about my helpless feelings, and he reassured me. “It is enough to know that you are here with us. The people can tell that you care.”

With my eyes squinting out the window into the sun, I thought, “but that is just not good enough. I worked hard to get here, and at great expense. I don’t feel that I am contributing anything at all.”

But Brian had said, “it is enough”.

So, in my weakness, I imagined that I was holding up my empty hands to God. What else could I do, but praise Him?

He is God. He rules over all. He comforts the hurting. He heals the broken. He restores what was lost. He promises heaven to those who call out to Him. He works in His mysterious ways, because He is God. I have to trust Him. It is enough.

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