Dear friends, I write this from Beira Mozambique where the major disaster stuck only a couple of months and as we walk around and see the effects of the damage but also the resiliency in people, we realise just how blessed we are in so many ways that we take for granted on a daily basis.
A word that the Lord has given while here is one from Genesis 21:14-20. It is the story of Hagar and her son Ishmael being sent away into the desert from Abraham and Sarah. It must have seemed for Hagar that everything that she had believed in, hoped for in the promise of her son, had just fallen apart as Abraham sends her away. In verse 15 the water she had was gone and she sat down away from her son so she wouldn't see him die. Because to her there was no hope left.
But in v17 God hears the boy crying and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, " What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Life the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation."
Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink."
So often in our grief and pain of loss we cannot see what is right in front of us. Like Mozambique going through such loss, it's easy to focus on what was lost without looking forward to what could be. Hagar was in grief she could not see the provision or the hope of what might be ahead. She had her eyes closed, unable to see what could be, but then an angel of the Lord comes, not because of her cry, but because of the boys cry. What at one moment would seem hopeless, despairing even of life, was in the next moment given the promise of becoming a great nation and provision.
For so many of us, it's easy to focus on what in the natural can seem like nothing good will come out of it, but in the next moment God comes and changes everything. So if you feel like this today be encouraged that God hears the cries of his people and he rends the heavens and comes down because he delights in you. (Ps 18)
Prior to coming to Africa I saw a picture of new plants in the garden, I saw asparagus shooting up out of the ground and I didn't even know it was in the ground but it had been planted there years before. I believe we are coming into a season of abundance even though it might seem that there is nothing left at times, there is a promise that is about to spring forth and we need to be a people who keep looking forward, not dwelling on the loss and the grief and what could have been, but looking to what could still be ahead. Keeping our eyes open to what the Lord would show us that is right in front of us. Bless you all in what the Lord has for you.