From Geoffrey to you; When the odds are stacked up and it looks like there is no way out

Sunday May 24, 2009

When the odds are stacked up and it looks as though there is no way out

When I was about seven years old my mother was diagnosed with Leukemia, which, for those of you who don’t know, is cancer of the bone marrow. It made her bones very frail and they turned into mush. She was incredibly weak and found it difficult to keep down food. Her eyes were blood red from vomiting so much from the medications and chemotherapy. The disease greatly weakened her bones and even the simplest of tasks seemed impossible for her: walking, bending over, carrying things or even standing for long periods of time. Another side effect was developing numerous cataracts on her eyes, leaving her practically blind. On a side note, we used to play the “slug bug” game with her and always used to win because she couldn’t see them, what a horrible family I know ha ha. She took enough pills and syrups to appease an appetite and if she ever missed a dose her body paid the toll the following day. She was constantly sick, couldn’t walk, couldn’t see and her body was constantly in pain.

A story is told in Judges chapter six and seven reminds me that even in the worst situations there is hope. Israel was going through extremely difficult times during this recount. A group of people called the Midianites constantly abused the Israelites; beating them, stealing from them, ransacking their towns, burning down their homes and killing them. Gideon is unfortunate enough to be the leader of the Israelites at this time. These people had no hope and as a leader he had no faith that they would overcome or prevail. It seemed as though all of these people had lost their faith in God and believed that they had been abandoned; their souls were downcast within them and life had no point. What is the point in growing crops if someone will steal them? What is the point in building homes if someone will burn them down? What is the point in having children if they will be slaughtered? In the midst of this bleak and unpromising situation, an angel appeared to Gideon and told him that he would defeat the Midianites, but Gideon still had many reservations and fears. The fact that he was out numbered and out powered made him doubt that this angel was real. He asked God for a sign, to renew his faith and prove that he would really defeat the Midianites in battle. He laid a cloth on the ground and told God that if he would truly defeat the Midianites to prove it by soaking it with water while leaving the ground beneath it dry as he slept that night. When he awoke it was as he had asked; the ground was dry but he squeezed a bowlful of water out of the cloth. He made another request just to make sure, this time he asked for God to make the ground beneath this cloth soaking wet but keep the cloth dry. When he awoke the next day it was as he had asked; the ground was sopping wet at the cloth was dry. His faith was restored, the doubts were gone, and he knew that even though the situation was bad that God had not abandoned him and that there would be rejoicing the next day.

I can’t explain to you what it is like being so young and thinking my mother was going to die. The pain and sickness throughout her body was so fierce and scary, while she was in the hospital I was afraid that my germs would kill her so I would talk to her using a wakie-talkie and look at her through the window. I can’t explain to you what it is like growing up with a mother who can hardly move and having your older siblings and family friends tend and care for your needs because your mother was physically unable. I can’t tell you what it is like imagining the rest of your life without your mother. Seeing the condition she was in, I never expected her to survive and yet she did. I never through she would walk, bend over or even see, but my faith was renewed. It began with one operation, and then another and then another. She was able to walk after having a double hip replacement and was able to see after having cataract surgery. She is able to walk, bend, push and lift things that we never thought she would be able to. She isn’t taking pounds of medications every hour, her dosages have been reduced, her life has been rejuvenated and I am able to see my mother living and breathing a life I never though she would. God is good.

At times we find ourselves in situations like my mothers, Gideons and mine where we feel as though there is no hope. At times we find ourselves in a situation in which we are out numbered and out powered. But through the darkest hours of our life God shines a little glimmer of light and hope. It is times like these in which God reveals himself, just a little bit, to help us to keep on keeping on and to continue to trust and believe that there will come a day when there is no more pain, suffering, death and our tears will be wiped away. To renew our faith he does what he did for Gideon, he will give us a sign and shine a little light to let us to that things will be okay and that we will overcome and defeat the Midianites in our life.

With that being said I want to tell you more about Janet, the young woman who is blind. The doctors told her that she would NEVER see again, her optic nerves are dead and there is physically no possible way for her to see even the slightest bits of light. However, yesterday she saw. She wasn’t able to see everything, but as I was visiting with her a woman walked up wearing a red and black shirt. She saw the different colors of the shirt and then told me she can see the light outside as well. The world says no, you can’t, you will never be able to… but God says you can. At times the odds are stacked up against us, we are the Israelites outnumbered and out powered by the Midianites, we assured that our mother will never survive cancer, we think we will never overcome a situation or be brought out of the darkness… but the truth is that we can and we will. Today it may be pouring rain, but tomorrow is a new day and the sun can come out.

God reveals himself to us. He tells us that it will be okay. He tells us that our mourning will be turned into joy. Janet may be healed or she may not, what I do know is that God has revealed himself to her. By giving her even the slightest ability to see even for a moment, he told her that he was with her and that she would overcome. Even though the she has been ransacked by the Midianites, is depressed, hurt and feels as though she will never overcome he told her yesterday that she can and she will triumph over her enemy.

If you find yourself with the odds stacked up against you, where there is no way out and where you will never overcome, know that you can and will.

Asante Sana,

Prayer Requests:
Carro’s Recovery
Janet’s vision
Medical facility
Funds for a generator

A woman asked me what the English word is for “poop” it was the woman named Esther who I see everyday that makes me laugh. So I told her we call it poop, poopie, poo-poo, doo-doo, number two… I named all of the ones I could… HILARIOUS
You may have the swine flu… we have the Kenyan flu… everyone seems to be getting sick
Kids made an obstacle course out of tires
All of the little five year olds kept on smacking my butt today… they were chasing me all around…. AAAAYYYYYYEEEE! Was my response…. Kenyans say AYE when they get surprise… its really funny.
Nothing here is really planned thoroughly they just kind of go with the flow…. Which is all fine and dandy except that things that are supposed to go from 7-8 go from 7-9:30… so I made it my mission to make as many schedules and help organize and plan out as many things as I can. It will take a while for people to catch onto this whole “on time” thing but I think after a while they will get the hang of it…. Hakuna matata Kenya is what most people think, but all of the leaders want me to help them implement organization woot woot… these people are so much better than us in certain areas but time management isn’t one of them, they had to bring in the mazungu to help : )

Temechelewa (spelling?)

WE’RE LATE…. The Kenyan way lol

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 24th, 2009 at 1:52 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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