Thursday, March 15, 2007

Eyes on the Prize

It's amazing how life works. It seems that we can go through months of peace and the usual hum-drum of activity and then other times it seems that the phrase "when it pours" could be quoted as scripture because of its truth! Lately it has been pouring on the farm. We've had struggles, trials, and frustrations that continue to pile onto each other. Nearly 40 elephants have made our fields their playground each evening, destroying the maize that our Zambian friends have worked so hard to maintain. Bush pigs (big, dangerous animals) have added to the chaos and ate what remains in several areas of the farm. There have been friends who let us down on the farm, drunks who have threatened us at night, vehicles that have broken down in very inconvenient places, and some who have betrayed our trust. The funny things is that this isn't at all peculiar to Africa. I'm sure many people are nodding right now saying, "i know exactly how you feel!" We had a very rough night two nights ago that involved discovering our driver was drunk AND driving...let's just say that his response wasn't very humble to my accusation at him being drunk and it turned into a long night. All that to say, Jess and I were feeling very down until a 22 year old Zambian friend of mine named Chanda approached me as everything was settling down. "Don't let any of this disturb the pursuit of your vision. The devil is always trying to distract us and he uses many ways to do this. The truth is that there is a great vision before us and all of this is happening to keep our eyes off of Christ." In that moment it made so much sense. There is an enemy who "prowls around like a lion, looking for someone to devour..." Yet we serve a God who has in all ways defeated and destroyed the works of the evil one. Scripture says that is why Christ came! I just want to encourage everyone right now who is going through a difficult trial...everyone who may feel they have been wronged or that injustice has been dealt to you...There is a vision before you that is great. The author and perfector of that vision is the Man Christ Jesus and the only way to fulfill that vision is wholehearted abandonment and commitment to our Lord. Many things will come against us, but it has already been dealt with, for "If God is for us, who can be against us?" I just want to say "Awake, Awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city...Shake yourself from the dust, arise...Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive of Zion!" (Isa. 51) There is a great Redeemer Who stands before us, beckoning us to continue on and fulfill the vision before us. It is a tiring journey and we will be put through difficulties, but don't get caught up in the chaos, get caught up in Christ! I love you all and pray that God would give you refreshing and a new zeal to take up your cross and follow Him hard today...


mom and dad said...

Jessi and Jacob-
Nice talking to you both today. You sound so good on the phone. Can't wait to be able to put our arms around you and hug you!
Have a great week!
Mom and Dad

Ashley M said...

Jessi and Jake-

How wonderful to find your blog and read about your happenings in Africa! I love reading your updates and I love even more being able to pray specifically for your needs and what's going on around you.

Thanks for serving the Lord in Zambia and setting aside yourselves to do His work!

Ashley McBride