by: R M
“Who?” My teammates and I would always jokingly ask this when the country, Chad, was mentioned. But really most people I talk to in America say “huh?” I just laugh and say yes, I lived in a country called Chad this last summer. It is in northern Africa. It borders the southern part of the Sahara dessert and it is actually quite an awesome place. It is hot, but it’s Chad and I loved every second there. The Lord taught me quite a few lessons while I was there. No, He didn’t teach me unforeseen things or crazy big worded ideas. He simply taught me His character that we all know so well. But unless we experience it, we never actually know it. Let me share with you a story that defines my summer….
It is our third or fourth day in Chad and we are in the capital. The capital is a crazy place! Traffic and pedestrians like no other. The next day we are leaving to go to our small village. So, on this day we are taking a trip to the police station to have our passports registered in the country. As we are walking and riding there are many little inconveniences here and there that are getting quite annoying. These things add up to some time. Then, right before we head to the police station we stop at the post office that is two blocks away to mail letters and take a five minute break in the shade. As we are walking out, one of my teammates realizes he forgot his passport photos. That was my breaking point. I had had it with all the little things slowing us down and I wasn’t yet used to the tough living conditions in Chad. I was angry, impatient, grumpy, and ungrateful. Fortunately for us there was a photo booth right across the street! As we are sitting at the photo booth the craziest thing happens, a huge explosion goes off near us. I mean one that I could feel so deep I think it touched my soul. There is stillness for a few moments and then suddenly the street is full of people running and screaming. This is a sight I will never forget. That was legitimate fear in their eyes because what happened was that Boko Haram, a terrorist group, had set off a bomb two blocks away. Do you know where that bomb was set off? The police station. The exact place we were going and 23 people died that day because of that bomb. We should’ve been there. I could have died that day. I should have died that day; the Lord knows I deserved it. But He is so gracious and He is completely sovereign. Remember the forgotten passport photos, 5-minute break, and the other things that slowed us down? Did those things happen by accident? No way! God is sovereign. And what really hit me is that I saw God is sovereign over even little aspects of our lives. You know the things that are so small it feels like we are in complete control? Even in those things He is sovereign and He wants us to know that. On that day He used what was meant for evil to glorify Himself and His sovereignty in my life and in the lives of people I have gotten to share this story with. That day opened my eyes to what God is really capable of and it changed the way I saw Him work last summer.
Praise God for His goodness, His grace, and His sovereignty in and over our lives.