Lessons from Zambia
Working in a mission hospital in the Zambian bush, my colleagues and I encounter the kind of hopelessness that confuses and tears my heart apart every day.
There have been countless moments where I’ve stopped to look around me and wonder if God even cares. I ask why He allows so many of His children to live under horrible conditions. Why is it so normal to see cases of child molestation? What is He doing to feed His malnourished pregnant mothers?
Does He have a plan to break the vicious cycles of poverty? I ask because when I stop to take in all of the hurt, pain and suffering surrounding me, I find a lot of hopelessness. I find that progress is painfully slow. I find that there are still so many needs not being met and I’m desperate to find a faster and better way.
But then the Lord reminds me that it’s not my place to save His children. Jesus has and is already doing that. It’s not my place to play His role. He reminds me that He’s the Father who does not forget His children. He cares more for each and every one of us than we could ever know. He knows what He’s doing and He has a plan. My job is to have faith and trust in that plan.
In fact, God doesn’t even need me. Compared to the one who brings light and moves mountains, I’m pathetic. I have yet to see the bigger picture of His entire work and yet to fully understand the world around me, but the Lord still invites me to be a part of His story.
Let me repeat that because it’s become an important lesson to me: God doesn’t need me, yet He still invites me to be a part of His story. What a beautiful thing. It’s an act of trust and obedience when I choose to focus on being grateful that He has invited me and has allowed me to be a part of something far greater than myself.
I still don’t know why I have to watch so many of God’s people suffer, but I must have faith and trust that God is who He says He is and He knows what He’s doing.
I chose Jesus which means I chose to have faith in His goodness and greatness, and I will follow Him even if I never get to see the results. I will follow Him even if I never see the progress I expected to see or if He never makes me the hero. He never promised that.
The Lord promised love. He promised an end to all suffering and refuge for every one of His children. As I continue to learn about my part in those promises, I have to hold fast to these fundamentals of my Father. My heart may continue to tear and doubts may creep into my mind, but I will choose to turn towards His love. I will look forward to the day He comes to carry out all of His promises and pour love into His broken children.
Until then I will choose to lead a life focused on the Father. I will choose humbleness, goodness and gratefulness. I will choose to love and hope in the face of despair because I trust that God is in control.
I hope that anyone suffering or struggling knows they are loved beyond anything man could ever measure by a God who is greater than anything on earth or in heaven. God hasn’t forsaken any one of us.
Claudia Bauermeister is a junior student missioning in Mwami, Zambia.