Quiet time in my mosquito netted bed, I am protected from unfamiliarity. I find comfort there, because the moment I lift the net I am surrounded by the unknown. I try to plan so that I feel prepared: prepared to take on clinic trips, to manage money in shillings, to assess kids pains, to diagnose them with an opportunistic complications or a tropical disease, or just heart burn from the mookane they just ate. I lie in my netted bed and I read words by Sarah Young “Give up performance anxiety and receive in its place My unfailing love. Turn to me. Even your ability to assess how well you are doing on a given day is flawed with your limited human perspective… when you are shaken out of your comfortable routine grip my hand tightly and look for growth opportunity, instead of bemoaning the loss of your comfort invite Me into your day since I have already planned it.” I try to plan out the day, so I am prepared, so I won’t fail. I try to adjust, to treat the kids, to have all the knowledge so I can treat them properly, perfectly. I can’t.
I think back to Sunday morning before I flew to Africa, a friend spoke words from the Lord to me. He whispered in my ear, “you feel like you don’t have enough. Enough strength, knowledge, enough capability. And you are right. You don’t. But you are not going on your own strength or grace but God’s. Strength, capability, grace comes as manna just as it is needed. No less, no more. New, fresh every morning. He has asked you to go, He will provide manna, strength, grace.” Listening to the words I wept into Jim’s armpit not realizing those words would mean even more today. Why do I try to make it through the day on my own when I can access His strength and enjoy His presence and grace all day?
I lie in my netted bed and think back further to my Tennessee bed, where I prayed for direction. That sleepless night I wrestled with the Lord to know his plan, and to be content with it. When I realized the direction was Africa, I wrestled harder: I am incapable. The Lord spoke directly that night. “you are trying to preform heart surgery on yourself. Cutting your own heart is suicide. You will kill yourself trying. Hand the scalpel to the Surgeon, Stop trying to do this on your own. Hand Me the scalpel.” A sleepless night of open heart surgery. He has cut my heart open and is turning it into a heart of flesh that beats for him. That pumps life. I handed the scalpel over to the surgeon and the transplant began. Transplant: to remove and relocate. To relocate my heart to Africa. He will transplant slowly and gradually by removing natural self and replacing it with Him, with grace. I transplanted to Africa and I thought it was finished. And it was finished, but those words belonged to Christ. And He holds the scars. God allow His Son’s blood to pour out so that mine can pump life, pump grace. And with our gentle Surgeon, heart surgery it is not day surgery. He will continue to transform my heart until He returns. I need to allow Him. Though I feel weak from transplant, I am learning to rely on His strength and grace. He is transplanting and transforming my heart and mind and renewing a right spirit with in me.
But be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1