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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bottom of the Well

I love meeting other wise hearted women, hearing all God has done in their life.  Rachel Dapper is a New Tribes Missionary  we met several months ago.  This tiny slip of a what looked like a young girl was actually a wise woman whose heart was to obey  the Lord.  Those words said long ago by others, Lord sent me, I will go, she heard and obeyed.    Now on the other side of the world, the adventure has left and just as He promised He is meeting her greatest need, Him.  Please pray as Rachel battles  discouragement, loneliness and hardships folks in the states never face.   Pray for Rachel Dapper as she takes the gospel to those who might never hear unless someone goes to tell them.  


                            Rachel Dapper
The current water shortage has lent a new meaning to “scraping the bottom of the barrel”.  In spite of careful rationing, I’m getting close to the end of my water supply and there’s no telling when the water will come back on again.  It could come on for a couple hours in the night.  It could come on tomorrow.   Or Sunday.  Or next Thursday.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not used to having to think about where I’m going to get water if I run out.  Actually, I’m just not used running out of water.  Ever.
* * *
I left home 38 days ago, and it seems like both yesterday and an eternity ago.  I was prepared for the heat.  For the dirt and swarms of flies and being jostled around mercilessly on bumpy roads.  For begging children and overflowing sewers and exhaustion.  For standing out no matter where I go.
But there is an emptiness, a not-enough-ness, a nothing-ness that I was not prepared for.  I know so little.  I can do so little.  Things I was competent in back home are suddenly irrelevant.  Being in an environment so completely different strips away much of what I have seen as my identity.  My first instinct is to run away and hide in a corner where I can be left alone.

It didn’t happen all at once, but since I’ve been here, I feel like I’ve been drained.  Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.  Yes, I feel like I’ve been drained right down to empty, and here I’ve discovered something.
Something I’ve known in my head but hadn’t experienced lately:

Being empty can be the very best thing to happen to you.

When I feel the crushing weight of my not-enough-ness, I experience God’s complete sufficiency.  When I feel like nothing, I remember God has promised to be everything I need.  When I’m empty, I learn that His purpose is “that [I] may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19b).  Filled with all the fullness of God.  That’s pretty incredible, isn’t it?                Remember how Paul compares us to jars of clay?  Unspectacular.  Fragile.  Empty.  Yet that very unspectacular-ness and emptiness is what makes them perfect to hold the treasure – the fullness of God Himself.  “…That the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”  (2 Corinthians 4:7b)

I am emptied to be filled. No, it doesn’t feel good.  No, I didn’t ask for it.  Yes, if there was another way to grow, I’d pick that.  But I know this is the place God wants me to be at: down to nothing.

And at the end of the day, not one of the things I’ve faced (or will face) can overpower me.
Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God.  Nothing, nothing, nothing.