Tuesday, May 24, 2016

“Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?” ― John Keats

There may be people who are happy all the time, but I don’t know any, and I am certainly not one of them.  We have had an additional $3,000 we have had to pay this month to get our labor permits (mine and John’s) in order to get our residence permits renewed.  We spent $800 flying Shaban to Dar Es Salaam to personally sign the papers at the Labor Board only to find that we didn’t have all the papers they wanted (sound like the DMV?), and he will return tomorrow empty handed, but needing to get more certified papers from the church and the presiding bishop.  Of course, the presiding bishop is in Mwanza where he will be joined on Wednesday by Bishops Festo and Kitunda to hear what we hope will be the final judgement of the High Court in Tanzania.  Of course, I had to pay for all three of them for travel and room and board—another $500 not in the budget.  I thought we just about had everything sorted out, but we just seem to run into one obstacle after another.  Before my troubles that resulted in my emergency air ambulance flight to Nairobi and surgery, I had been having migraine headaches once or twice a week.  Since returning, I have not had a single one until this Monday when one returned with a vengeance.  Karen’s depressed because of worry over the court case (pretty sure we are in good shape but you never know) and the arthritic pain that keeps her from doing the projects she wants to do.  While I can walk short distances without walker or wheelchair, it is not without pain as torn ligaments take forever to heal, so the walker and the wheelchair remain as a part of my life for now.  I thought I would be back to normal by this point.  I am so much better than when I returned in mid-February, but it doesn’t seem like I’ve made much progress since then—even though Karen says I have made tons of progress.  I know to trust in God, not to sweat the small stuff and that everything is small stuff, but . . . things still get me down, even if I don’t stay there for long.  It looks like an infusion of $1,000 by the One Book Foundation, a good judgement by the High Court, and continued improvement in both mine and Karen’s health will turn everything around—but I just can’t see that now.  Sometimes waiting for God to reveal the strength and comfort we need seems to take forever and saps our own strength.  Migraine headaches don’t help either.  I know this sounds like a glass half-empty lament, but it’s really not.  It’s just my impatience getting in the way of my sure and certain knowledge that God has everything firmly in hand.  We do not quit, we do not go back, we go forward—even if at times it’s with our heads down knowing that God will give us a reason to look up again.  You can never see a rainbow by looking at the ground, and I need to see a rainbow about now.  It will come.  It must.  Just hard for me to see beyond the pain and frustration at times, so I guess I am human and like everyone else who gets hit with stumbling blocks.  If you climb up on that stumbling block, you can see a much brighter future.  Keep us in your prayers and help lift us up on top of those stumbling blocks.  We’ve come too far to let little things interfere—and these are little things in God’s eyes.
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